1 in 4 patients admitted to pediatric ICUs develop acute kidney injury, study shows: 3 insights

A majority of children admitted to pediatric intensive care units develop acute kidney injury, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers collected data from 5,297 patients admitted to 32 pediatric ICUs in nine countries. They measured both urine output volumes and levels of creatinine in the blood, a chemical waste molecule transported to the kidneys, which filter most of the waste along the way and deposit it in the urine.

Here are three insights:

1. One in every four of the pediatric patients admitted to ICUs developed acute kidney injury.

2. Nearly 12 percent developed more severe acute kidney injury, which increases their risk of death within 28 days.

3. Severe acute kidney injury based on decreased urine output increases the risk of death compared to acute kidney injury based on creatinine levels.

"The common and early occurrence of acute kidney injury reinforces the need for systematic surveillance for AKI at the time patients are admitted to intensive care," said Stuart L. Goldstein, MD, director of the Center for Acute Care Nephrology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the study's lead author.

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