What are the risks and benefits of pharmacological interventions to prevent clotting in extracorporeal circuits during continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT)?

Patients who are critically ill in an intensive care unit often develop kidney complications related to multiple factors such as infection, hypotension, and necessary medications. Acute kidney injury occurs in approximately 11% to 18% of hospitalized patients and contributes to an estimated 1.7 million deaths every year. Because these patients are hemodynamically unstable, they cannot tolerate standard dialysis, which is typically a 3- to 4-hour procedure. Instead, continuous dialysis is the treatment of choice, and critically ill patients often tolerate it better. This continuous treatment, known as CRRT, provides opportunities for the health care team to introduce treatment modalities that would otherwise cause waste products and fluid to accumulate within the injured kidneys.

Standard practice is to run CRRT continuously for 24 hours; however, the therapy is...

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