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Maximum conservative management for patients with chronic kidney disease stage 5

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Following the expansion of dialysis services for patients with chronic kidney disease, an increasing number of elderly patients with varying degrees of frailty and additional comorbidities have been offered treatment. Life expectancy is somewhat limited in this group of patients, and initiation of dialysis may not necessarily improve quality of life. As such, an increasing number of centers are offering conservative care for patients who have made an informed decision not to have dialysis. As conservative care includes active treatment of anemia, volume overload, blood pressure control, and management of uremic symptoms, including pruritus, we term this approach as maximal conservative management of chronic kidney disease. We describe our experience of maximum conservative management, which although may not prolong life, can maintain the quality of life and functional ability until the final illness in the majority of patients. Although these patients do not go to the hospital on a regular basis, coordinated support from the hospital, the community, and the care giver/relative is required for successful care of the patient. Appropriate end of life planning can then be made according to the wishes of the patient.
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Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; maximum conservative management; patient symptoms; quality of life

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: UCL Center for Nephrology, Royal Free Campus, University College London Medical School, Rowland Hill Street, London, UK

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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