Nina R O'Connor

University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

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Publications (2)3.45 Total impact

  • Nina R O'Connor, Amy M Corcoran
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    ABSTRACT: The prevalence of end-stage renal disease continues to increase, and dialysis is offered to older and more medically complex patients. Pain is problematic in up to one-half of patients receiving dialysis and may result from renal and nonrenal etiologies. Opioids can be prescribed safely, but the patient's renal function must be considered when selecting a drug and when determining the dosage. Fentanyl and methadone are considered the safest opioids for use in patients with end-stage renal disease. Nonpain symptoms are common and affect quality of life. Phosphate binders, ondansetron, and naltrexone can be helpful for pruritus. Fatigue can be managed with treatment of anemia and optimization of dialysis, but persistent fatigue should prompt screening for depression. Ondansetron, metoclopramide, and haloperidol are effective for uremia-associated nausea. Nondialytic management may be preferable to dialysis initiation in older patients and in those with additional life-limiting illnesses, and may not significantly decrease life expectancy. Delaying dialysis initiation is also an option. Patients with end-stage renal disease should have advance directives, including documentation of situations in which they would no longer want dialysis.
    American family physician 04/2012; 85(7):705-10. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    Nina R O'Connor, Pallavi Kumar
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    ABSTRACT: To summarize evidence on conservative, nondialytic management of end-stage renal disease regarding 1) prognosis and 2) symptom burden and quality of life (QOL). Medline, Cinahl, and Cochrane were searched for records indexed prior to March 1, 2011. Bibliographies of articles and abstracts from recent meetings were reviewed. Authors and nephrologists were contacted to identify additional studies. Articles were reviewed by two authors and selected if they described stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients managed without dialysis, including one or more of the following outcomes: prognosis, symptoms, or QOL. Levels of evidence ratings were assigned using the SORT (Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy) system. Data was abstracted independently by two authors for descriptive analysis. Thirteen studies were included. In studies of prognosis, conservative management resulted in median survival of at least six months (range 6.3 to 23.4 months). Findings are mixed as to whether dialysis prolongs survival in the elderly versus conservative, nondialytic management. Any survival benefit from dialysis decreases with comorbidities, especially ischemic heart disease. Patients managed conservatively report a high symptom burden, underscoring the need for concurrent palliative care. Additional head-to-head studies are needed to compare the symptoms of age-matched dialysis patients, but preliminary studies suggest that QOL is similar. Conservative management is an important alternative to discuss when counseling patients and families about dialysis. Unlike withdrawal of dialysis in which imminent death is expected, patients who decline dialysis initiation can live for months to years with appropriate supportive care.
    Journal of palliative medicine 02/2012; 15(2):228-35. · 1.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

12 Citations
3.45 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
      Little Rock, Arkansas, United States