AEIOU Isn’t Only for Studying Grammar

AEIOU Isn’t Just for Learning Grammar
April 11, 2021 0 Comments

Dr. Christopher Carrubba, Dr. Brian Radvansky, and Dr. Taylor Purvis contributed to this text.

“Why is our affected person on dialysis?” If I had a greenback for each medical pupil that requested me this query, I might undoubtedly afford a pleasant meal out with my spouse. I’ve discovered that many college students have a minimal understanding of dialysis and suppose that its solely utilization is within the care of sufferers with power kidney illness—I do know I definitely did as soon as upon a time.

Sadly, that restricted understanding can come again to chew you on Step 2 when you find yourself typically required to know if a affected person is a dialysis candidate. Furthermore, understanding the makes use of of dialysis is a surefire strategy to impress your workforce on a medication wards month or a nephrology rotation. We’ll additionally spend a while on the finish of the article addressing what “dialysis” actually means, to be able to sound extra-impressive on the wards.

As at all times, we’re right here with mnemonics to make it straightforward!

AEIOU Mnemonic: Indications for [Emergent] Dialysis

For this mnemonic, every letter corresponds to a selected indication for dialysis. As with many mnemonics, some artistic liberties had been undoubtedly taken to make every little thing line up. Let’s see the way it breaks down.

A = acidosis

Extra particularly, extreme metabolic acidosis. Now don’t go dashing to place everybody with metabolic acidosis on dialysis. Simply keep in mind that that is an possibility for very extreme and refractory instances.

In some conditions, a affected person’s metabolic acidosis can be wreaking havoc on the milieu of their blood and physique’s enzymes. Our our bodies weren’t designed to run at pH 6.9. Pressors/inotropes gained’t work as nicely, myocytes can be depressed. There can be [necessary] hyperventilation. Take, as an illustration, a affected person with a sky-high lactate from cardiac arrest, who has developed shock liver from the interval of hypotension. Their busted liver can be unable to clear the lactate, and their solely hope to take action (apart from restoration of perfusion and coronary heart operate), can be dialyzing it off.

E = electrolyte abnormalities

Mostly, hyperkalemia. For sufferers with extreme hyperkalemia (i.e. unhealthy sufficient to trigger peaked T waves and a widening QRS on an EKG) +/- poorly functioning kidneys, dialysis is a wonderful and typically mandatory choice to take away the potassium. Nevertheless, if the affected person’s kidneys are functioning correctly, at all times think about different choices first.

Keep in mind your hyperkalemia protocol: begin with insulin to drive that Okay+ into cells (and glucose/dextrose if the insulin will result in hypoglycemia). Administer calcium to stabilize cardiac myocytes and stop malignant arrhythmias. Furosemide (lasix) also can assist ship some Okay+ out of the physique, and matches properly into the schema.

If in case you have a real hyperkalemic emergency, dialysis is your final resort.

I = intoxication

That is most likely the least frequent utilization of dialysis lately; but it surely stays an possibility for lithium toxicity, TCA overdose, and alcohol intoxication. Nasty chemical substances within the blood inflicting issues? Dialyze them out.

O = (quantity) overload

For sufferers affected by quantity overload secondary to power (and even acute) kidney illness, this can be a quite common cause for dialysis. In case your kidneys should not capable of make urine, you don’t have an exit technique for the fluids that enter your physique. Many ICU sufferers are on a great deal of IV infusions, and if they will’t pee out all that fluid, it’s going to finish up in interstitial areas the place it would not belong.

How unhealthy does quantity overload must get? Puffiness itself gained’t kill your affected person. However pulmonary edema and growing oxygen necessities would possibly.

U = uremia

By way of the USMLE, that is most likely essentially the most examined indication for dialysis. For sufferers with power kidney illness difficult by uremic pericarditis or encephalopathy, dialysis could be a life saving intervention.

There is no such thing as a laborious and quick cutoff for dialyzing at a sure BUN (blood UREA nitrogen). But when the affected person suffers from pericarditis, refractory nausea/vomiting, or encephalopathy, dialysis is indicated.

Initiating dialysis isn’t any small feat; it’s not a easy field to verify. Sufferers who require dialysis require dialysis ACCESS. In the event that they had been on dialysis as outpatients, they most likely have some established entry like a AV graft or fistula. But when there’s an acute indication in a dialysis-naive affected person, they must get an additional massive central line positioned, with a view to assist the flows essential to ship blood to-and-from the dialysis machine. So earlier than you begin inserting big traces in central veins, be sure that the affected person has a mandatory indication, and that it can’t be dealt with (well timed) with a non-invasive intervention.


What You Have to Know About Dialysis

Earlier than we allow you to go, we need to break down what “dialysis” actually means. Technically, this text was referring usually to “renal substitute remedy.” You’re supporting the kidneys of their time of want with a type of substitute remedy. There are literally a number of modalities of substitute remedy. We gained’t get into an excessive amount of nitty-gritty, but it surely’s useful to know the large variations.

These modalities of renal substitute remedy are:

  1. Intermittent hemodialysis
  2. Steady renal substitute remedy 
  3. Hybrid therapies like sustained low-efficiency dialysis (SLED)
  4. Peritoneal dialysis

Intermittent hemodialysis (IHD) is, nicely, intermittent. Suppose 3-4 hours, 3 occasions every week kind of factor. That is most likely the one you consider essentially the most in your ambulatory CKD sufferers who go to an outpatient dialysis heart. It may be utilized in emergent instances too, although. These are massive fluid shifts over a brief time frame, although, and may trigger cardiovascular instability.

Steady renal substitute remedy (CRRT) is usually utilized in critically unwell sufferers. It’s what it appears like: a steady, 24-hours-a-day filtration. It has nice hemodynamic stability since you’re clearing issues slowly over the course of the day.

Hybrid therapies like SLED are form of the goldilocks in between IHD and CRRT. SLED, for instance, is completed 6-12 hours a day with fairly good hemodynamic stability. This can be utilized in critically unwell sufferers or in treating issues like hyperkalemia.

Peritoneal dialysis isn’t used for acute remedy within the US, although it technically might be. A catheter is surgically positioned into the peritoneal cavity reasonably than within the vasculature. 


We hope this helps clear up a number of the confusion about “dialysis”! Now you know the way to put in writing precisely about your sufferers within the hospital who’re present process renal substitute remedy.

Good luck on the market!

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