WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Top nephrologists and critical care specialists from across the country joined patient advocates, industry leaders and policymakers on Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center for the National Policy Forum on Critical Care and Acute Renal Failure to discuss challenges to patients, providers and policymakers associated with growing rates of acute kidney injury, or "AKI". Nearly four million patients each year suffer from AKI, or sudden kidney failure, a figure that is up more than 13% since 2013.
AKI can be triggered by an array of serious injuries, sepsis, and many chronic conditions. Experts estimate that patients with AKI are six times likelier to die from this condition than patients with heart failure, making it among the deadliest conditions in ICUs today.
"The number of Americans with AKI has reached epidemic levels, making it urgent that leaders come together for this discussion," said Paul T. Conway, President of the American Association of Kidney Patients. Conway, a member of the Forum Steering Committee, said he hoped the discussion would lead to a roadmap for future policy actions: "We can do a great deal of good for patients, clinicians and the healthcare system by pinpointing the steps we agree that policymakers should take – whether it is establishing clear best practices for treating AKI or ensuring more research in this area, among other options – to improve the prospects of Americans with AKI and their long-term outcomes."
Given the serious implications of AKI for patients and the U.S. healthcare system, the National Policy Forum on Critical Care and Acute Renal Failure featured a series of panel discussions and roundtable conversations on topics ranging from clinician education and training opportunities to the data currently available to guide the treatment of AKI patients. Among other things, panelists spoke to the benefits of having more data – including both retrospective and prospective analyses – that could help inform best practices for nephrologists and intensivists caring for AKI patients; of promoting awareness among policy leaders and the public generally regarding the AKI epidemic; of coordination between caregivers on targeted outcomes tailored to the needs of each patient; of policies that promote AKI prevention; and of patient, family and clinical education initiatives that can help bolster long-term outcomes for AKI survivors, who face the risk of chronic kidney disease and other complications.
More than 30 leading U.S. clinical and public health experts (Delegate List) participated in this first-ever national conversation on AKI, which was sponsored by the Foundation for National Critical Care Policy and Baxter Healthcare.
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SOURCE National Policy Forum on Critical Care and Acute Renal Failure