Incidence of hyperkalemia in the emergency department: a 10-year retrospective study
To the Editor,
Hyperkalemia, or high serum potassium, is a common electrolyte disorder. Normal levels of serum potassium range from 3.5 to 4.5 mmol/L, with hyperkalemia defined by a value of 4.5 mmol/L or higher, and severe hyperkalemia, defined as a serum potassium level of 6.0 mmol/L or higher . People with chronic diseases such as chronic kidney disease, heart failure, hypertension or diabetes mellitus are at a particularly high risk of developing hyperkalemia [1, 2]. In patients with chronic kidney disease, incidence of hyperkalemia is estimated to be 3.2% , and 2.5%  in elderly adults with chronic kidney disease. However, data on hyperkalemia frequency in the ED are sparse. A retrospective 2-year study in Switzerland, investigating 29,250 potassium measurements showed that 2585 patients (8.8%) had hyperkalemia, and 88 (0.3% of all patients) with a serum potassium value exceeding 5.9 mmol/L . To estimate the incidence of hyperkalemia, we performed a retrospective...
LL, EM, and DM conceived the study. LL, EM, FJ and EB developed the analysis plan, and LL undertook the main analysis with supervision from EM, DM and QLB. EM and LL wrote the first draft of the paper, with all the other authors making important critical revisions. All the authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
No funding received for this work.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Statement of human and animal rights
The study protocol was approved by the board of the Nantes University Hospital.
As it was a retrospective study of anonymized blood samples that were obtained as part of the routine activity of laboratory, informed consent was not required following French recommendations.