JSCOR post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Husain AlShaikh, made a presentation last week at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Chicago, IL, entitled "Financial Burden of Acute Kidney Injury following Cardiac Surgery." This project was inspired by Dr. Nevin Katz, a cardiac surgeon at Johns Hopkins, who is exploring ways to identify patients at risk for AKI and intervene before kidney damage occurrs.
Dr. AlShaikh's analysis was done using data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), 2008-2011. The analysis showed that patients with AKI were ten times more likely to die in hospital, have over twice the length of stay, and twice the cost of hospitalization. On average the cost of hospitalization was over $30,000 more for patients with AKI. The cost of hospitalization for patients with AKI who required dialysis was about $80,000 higher. The total excess cost of caring for patients who have AKI after cardiac surgery was $913 million per year. This finding suggests that the R&D costs associated with an intervention that could reduce AKI by as little as 5-10% could easily be covered by the savings in hospitalization cost.