| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 33--37
Prevalence of hyponatremia in palliative care patients
Shoba Nair1, Thiophin Regina Mary1, SD Tarey1, Sudha Pauline Daniel1, Jose Austine2
1 Department of Palliative Medicine, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Palliative Medicine, Fatima Mission Hospital, Palai, India
Introduction: Hyponatremia is an undertreated finding in clinical practice. It is the most common electrolyte abnormality. Hyponatremia can be asymptomatic or can cause symptoms ranging from nausea and lethargy to convulsions and coma. Palliative care patients have a multitude of symptoms and there are several contributing factors towards this. Hyponatremia could be one of the contributing factors. Looking at the prevalence of hyponatremia would highlight the magnitude of the problem and would prompt healthcare professionals to investigate and treat hyponatremia in palliative care patients, which in turn might reduce symptoms such as fatigue and nausea. This could improve the quality of life in palliative care patients.
Aim: To assess the prevalence of hyponatremia among patients referred for palliative care in a tertiary care hospital.
Methodology: This is a descriptive study, with retrospective analysis of consecutive patient charts for 5 years. The sodium levels at the time of referral for palliative care, was reviewed. Inferential statistics for the result was calculated using the Z-test.
Results: Of the 2666 consecutive patient charts that were reviewed, sodium values were recorded in 796 charts. Among the recorded charts, 28.8 % of patients showed hyponatremia at the time of referral which was significant with a P value of 0.000 (<0.05). Of these, 61.1 % had malignancy as their diagnosis and the rest had nonmalignant diseases, ranging from trauma to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Conclusions: Prevalence of hyponatremia is significant in palliative care patients. A prospective study looking at the causes and clinical outcomes associated with hyponatremia in palliative care patients is needed.
Department of Palliative Medicine, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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