A retrospective study of electrolyte imbalance among elderly patients and its relationship to the outcome and duration of stay in emergency
Background: Electrolyte imbalance (EI) is a measurable biochemical parameter that determines the clinical manifestations of interactions between various metabolic events like: hydration deficiencies, hormones deficiencies, vascular events, sepsis, etc. The aim of the study was to investigate the frequency of EI among elderly patients who present to the emergency department (ED), with regards to type and severity, and the association with age and sex of the patient, hospital stay, readmission, and mortality.
Method: A hospital based prospective observational study was conducted on randomly selected 190 patients with EI, attending medicine OPD of sub-district hospital Bishnah, district Jammu, J and K, for a period of 6 months.
Results: The median age of all patients was 69 years, with 43.68% patients were females. EIs were mostly mild, the most common EI was hyponatremia (14.74%). The 65 patients suffered from an either kind of severe EI. The 116 (61.05%) patients had no EI, 59 patients had one EI and 15 patients had two or more than two EIs. Median stay for patients with normal to mild/moderate to severe hyponatremia and hypernatremia was 3 and 5 days and 3 and 7 days respectively. Among all admitted patients, there were 20.5% (39) readmissions within 30 days from discharge during the study period.
Conclusions: Increasing severity of EI was associated with longer hospital stay. Health-care personnel should be effectively trained in the diagnosis and management of EIs.
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