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The Impact of Mild Renal Dysfunction on Postoperative Mortality in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit

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The negative impact of mild to moderate renal dysfunction on patient outcome is often under estimated. Any amount of renal dysfunction is deleterious in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). We evaluated all surgery patients admitted to our SICU. We identified two groups of patients: no renal failure and acute renal failure. A total of 5152 patients were included in this study. There were 1259 patients in the acute renal failure group. The average number of ventilator days increased by 2.2 for every increase of creatinine by 1.0. Patients who required dialysis stayed an average of 11 days longer than patients who did not have any renal failure. For every increase of creatinine by 1.0, average cost increased by $23,048. Only 7 percent of the patients with acute renal failure required dialysis (n = 85). The odds ratio for mortality compared with those patients without renal failure was 7.06 (confidence interval, 3.91–12.76) regardless of the definition of renal failure. This study demonstrates that even mild to moderate renal failure increases mortality. Moreover, we demonstrated that even a mild decline in renal function increases length of stay, ventilator days, and cost in patients in the SICU. Aggressive vigilance in the prevention of any loss of renal function is warranted in the SICU.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan

Publication date: August 1, 2007

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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