Monday, July 22, 2013

Protocol driven diuretic dosing in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF)

Who says there's no evidence based treatment for ADHF? A lot of people say so particularly in view of the disappointing results with nesiritide and other novel heart failure treatments. But here's a paper suggesting a method of administering loop diuretics which pays dividends in terms of an important clinical outcome: readmission.  From the paper:

This analysis aimed to compare clinical outcomes of patients admitted with ADHF who received a diuretic dosing protocol with those who received the usual diuretic therapy. We performed an observational medical records review to compare the use of a nurse-driven diuretic dosing protocol with usual diuretic dosing for patients admitted with ADHF during a 1-year period. Using a propensity scoring model, comparisons were made between groups for total weight loss, length of stay (LOS), 30-day readmissions, in-hospital mortality, 30-day mortality, and acute kidney failure. Sixty-eight of the 596 patients admitted with ADHF during the study period received the diuretic protocol. Protocol use was associated with an additional 2.63-kg weight loss (P=.003) but a trend toward increased LOS compared with patients receiving usual care (P=.097). However, patients receiving the protocol had a significantly lower risk of 30-day readmission (odds ratio, 0.46, 95% confidence interval, 0.22–0.95). Protocol use was not associated with significant differences in kidney failure, inpatient mortality, or 30-day mortality. A diuretic dosing protocol for patients admitted with ADHF improves weight loss and may lower 30-day readmissions, at the cost of potentially increasing LOS.

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