Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) practices in Canadian hospitals: Where are we now?

Can J Crit Care Nurs. 2016 Spring;27(1):17-22.


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication in critically ill patients. Renal replacement therapy is prescribed for as many as 70% of critically ill patients in AKI and may be provided in the form of intermittent or continuous dialysis including intermittent hemodialysis, sustained low-efficiency dialysis, and continuous renal replacement therapy (CR RT). CRRT is commonly used for unstable critically ill patients, as it involves a slow continuous process. The nursing work involved with CR RT is highly complex and the learning requirements are challenging; therefore, it is important to identify nursing practices.

Purpose: A national survey was conducted to gain insight into CRRT nursing practices.

Methods: T he design for this study was descriptive using a survey The target population for this survey was ICU nurse educators at Canadian teaching and community hospitals. Topics in the survey included staff education, CRRT ordering and initiation practices, vascular access, filters and filter life, fluids used, anticoagulation methods, adverse events, and greatest concerns.

Findings: One hundred and twenty-nine surveys were sent out and 73 were returned for a response rate of 57%. Thirty-six hospitals used CRRT and of these, 73% had used CR RT for more than eight years. The findings revealed that educators identified achieving and maintaining competence as their greatest concern related to CRRT practices.

Conclusion: The fndings of this research revealed that consistent training programs were not the norm. The complexity of caring for patients on CRRT requires consideration of when to introduce to staff the technology and care of patients on CRRT and how to sustain their competence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / nursing*
  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Critical Care Nursing / standards*
  • Hospitals, Community / methods
  • Hospitals, Teaching / methods
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / nursing*
  • Renal Replacement Therapy / standards*