Early Hospital Readmissions After Transplantation
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BACKGROUND: Solid organ transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage organ failure. Although much progress has been made over the past decade, some patients still require early readmission after their initial hospital discharge. Early hospital readmission is an important metric for health care quality. It is often measured in nontransplant medical and surgical conditions but has only recently been applied to organ transplantation. METHODS: We performed a structured MEDLINE search to retrieve, review, and summarize original studies on the incidence, risk factors, outcomes, and prevention of early hospital readmissions after kidney, liver, and kidney-pancreas transplantation. Early hospital readmission was defined as readmission to hospital within 30 days of discharge from the transplant hospitalization. RESULTS: The risk of early readmission varies by organ type, (highest in liver transplants and lowest in kidney transplants). Causes for early hospital readmission are most commonly due to surgical, immunologic, or infectious complications. Risk factors associated with early hospital readmission often reflect pretransplant comorbidity, and many of these factors may not be modifiable. Early hospital readmission is also associated with decreased graft and patient survival. CONCLUSIONS: Early hospital readmission after transplantation is common and associated with adverse outcomes. The potential for preventing early hospital readmissions and the impact on patient outcomes remain unclear. Current evidence suggests that some, but not all, early hospital readmissions after transplantation may be prevented.
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