Recap on Discoveries and Conversations in the Kidney Industry: The Start of 2018
Several interesting nephrology related studies and articles were published over the last month or so. The paragraphs below recap these discoveries and conversations—ranging from robot-assisted kidney transplants, nephrologist burnout and the risk of developing chronic kidney disease for pediatric non-kidney organ recipients—and provide links for further reading.
Enhancing Kidney Transplants with Robots
Robot-assisted kidney transplantation, when performed by surgeons with robot and kidney transplant experience, was found (in a multicenter prospective observational study) to be safe and reproducible in specific cases and produced excellent graft function. To read more about this study, published in European Urology, click here.
The Ongoing Health Care Reform and Potential Effects on Nephrology
This January, Alex Azar II was nominated and confirmed as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. According to a Nephrology News & Issues (NNI) interview with Robert Blaser, director of public policy for the Renal Physicians Association, Azar supports a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act; supports changing Medicaid to a grant system that provides a capped, per capita allowance to states; and opposes controlling the costs of drugs. In the interview, Blaser discussed the effects this could have on the nephrology industry.
On a separate note, multiple states have rolled out staffing ratio mandates for dialysis clinics. In the same NNI interview, Donna Bednarski, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CNN, Kidney Care Partners consultant for the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA), discussed how mandated staffing ratios can reduce burnout, decrease work-related injuries and increase available time with patients. However, the downside to this mandate involves staffing shortages: If sufficient staff is unavailable, dialysis clinics may need to decrease days of operation, change treatment length or reduce the number of new patients.
Read the full article here.
Nephrologist Burnout and Its Impact on the Workforce
Physician burnout—feelings of depersonalization, emotional exhaustion and a low sense of personal accomplishment—is an increasing concern with nephrologists. It can affect individual wellbeing, be contagious to others, increase turnover rates and decrease productivity. Read more about the impact of burnout on the nephrology industry, in an article published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, here.
The Association between Arterial Pressure and Kidney Function Decline
A study recently published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reviewed treatment for reducing mean arterial pressure and its relationship with declined kidney function and cardiovascular events in people without chronic kidney disease. The study found that a greater decline in mean arterial pressure was related to an increased incidence of declined kidney function. Treating intensively appeared to be less favorable when aiming for a significant reduction in mean arterial pressure. To learn more about the findings of this study, click here.
Chronic Kidney Disease Risk for Pediatric Non-Kidney Organ Transplant Recipients
Pediatric patients who receive a non-kidney organ transplant often experience an acute kidney injury episode within the first year after the transplant. This—after adjusting for patient differences—is associated with a higher risk for chronic kidney disease, according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Transplantation. To read more, click here.
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