Most hemodialysis (HD) patients admitted to a long-term care hospital (LTCH) are either re-admitted to acute-care hospitals or require nursing home placement, according to researchers.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio led by Charuhas V. Thakar, MD, studied 206 HD patients admitted to an LTCH. Of the 206 patients, 96 (46.6%) had end-stage renal disease and 110 (53.3%) had acute kidney injury (AKI) requiring dialysis during acute-care hospitalization.

Sixty-three patients (31%) were discharged to home, 11 (5.4%) died or were transferred to hospice, 81 (40%) went to a nursing home, and 49 (24%) were re-admitted to a hospital, Dr. Thakar and his colleagues reported in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2010;55:300-306).

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Of the 110 patients with AKI, 33 (30%) recovered sufficiently to go off dialysis. Older age, diabetes mellitus, number of hospital re-admissions, aminoglycoside use, and duration of hospitalization before LTCH admission were associated with a lower risk of discharge to home.