Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 P34

What are the factors influencing length of stay in patients with hyponatraemia? A prospective study on an acute medical unit

Kamran Pasha, Edward Green & Nida Chammas


Acute Medical Unit, West Middlesex University Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


Aim to elucidate the factors influencing length of stay (LOS) in patients with hyponatraemia admitted to an acute medical unit (AMU).

Methodology: a prospective study of patients admitted to AMU at West Middlesex University Hospital from November 2009 to June 2011. A proforma was completed for each patient by the registrar on his duty days.

Results: 70 patients were identified with a mean age of 69.2 years. 41 (59%) were female. 20 (29%) patients were symptomatic; confusion was the commonest symptom in 45%. Of the 51 (73%) patients with LOS > 72 hours, 8 (16%) had severe (sodium level of <120 mmol/l), 26 (51%) had moderate (120–129 mmol/l), and 17 (33%) had mild (130–135 mmol/l) hyponatraemia. Of the 16 (23%) patients with LOS of between 24 and 72 hours, 1 (6%) had severe, 10 (63%) had moderate, and 5 (31%) had mild hyponatraemia. 3 patients with LOS < 24 hours had mild hyponatraemia. LOS and level of hyponatraemia on admission were independent of each other (P=>0.05). LOS was also independent of the treatment received or the presence of co-morbidities. 48 (69%) patients were discharged, while 11 (16%) patients passed away. Of the 59 patients who survived, 6 (10%) were readmitted within 2 weeks, and 6 (10%) were readmitted more than 2 weeks after discharge. Level of hyponatraemia on admission did not influence readmission rates (P=>0.05).

Conclusion: The majority of patients had moderate hyponatraemia, with confusion and multiple co-morbidities. Most patients stayed in hospital >72 hours, and were discharged without readmission. LOS and readmission rates were not influenced by the level of hyponatraemia on admission.

Declaration of interest: There is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.

Funding: No specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sector.

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