Study: Early intervention of hyperkalemia cuts mortality in half

January 08, 2020

STONY BROOK, NY, January 8, 2020 - In a new study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Adam Singer, MD, et al reported that quickly correcting high potassium levels, a condition known as hyperkalemia, in emergency department patients cut mortality in that population by half.

In the study, Singer, professor and vice chair of research for the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, and colleagues, reviewed nearly 115,000 Stony Brook University Hospital ED visits during 2016 and 2017, finding the mortality rate was significantly reduced in this patient cohort (6.3 % vs. 12.7 %).

Millions of patients suffering with diabetes, heart failure, hypertension and renal failure are at an increased risk for hyperkalemia. Many therapies to treat these conditions may also increase potassium levels.

"Because of the increasing risk of hyperkalemia in this population, it is important, as our study showed, to develop protocols that help quickly identify and correct hyperkalemia while the patient is still in the emergency department," said Dr. Singer.
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About Stony Brook University

Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today's public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region's economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

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