Pros And Cons Of Epoetin Alfa

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Research Summary and Ethical Considerations KathyKeehn Grand Canyon University: NRS 433V-0101 March 20, 2015 Introduction Epoetin alfa is a man made drug used for treating anemia. (Lippincott, 2006) Erythropoietin is a protein made in the body by the kidney that helps the bone marrow to produce oxygen carrying red blood cells. (Harrison, 1983). In a healthy body, when there is a decrease in red blood cells or a decrease in the supply of oxygen, an increased amount of erythropoietin is made which in turn increases the red blood cells. In end stage renal disease (ESRD) anemia is common because this mechanism is not working. Epoetin alfa is used to stimulate the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Using epoetin alfa has decreased…show more content…
Although epoetin alfa has helped with end stage renal disease (ESRD) anemia significantly, there continue to be patients with ESRD who have anemia despite the use of epoetin alfa. This paper will address the administration of ascorbic acid and its effectiveness in increasing hemoglobin results in patients who are not responding to epoetin alfa use alone and will also discuss the adverse effects found in the addition of ascorbic acid. This paper will also summarize the research study used to obtain the information and discuss its significance in nursing. Background of Study The questions the researcher asked when researching this topic were. 1. Does the administration of vitamin c increase the hemoglobin in patients that receive hemodialysis? 2. Will using intravenous ascorbic acid help stimulate the response to epogen for patients receiving hemodialysis? 3. What are the adverse effects of using IV ascorbic acid in patients in patients receiving hemodialysis? The research was completed using observational studies which are qualitative…show more content…
Within the studies researched there were possibly skewed results due to a small number of participants, some of the studies had a short duration, and dosing protocols were different. But the studies did discover that patients showed improved hemoglobins with short intervals of receiving vitamin C post dialysis treatment and also showed that the need for large doses of Epogen changed with addition of vitamin c to their regimen. Nephrology nurses can use this knowledge when monitoring lab values, as they may see increased Hgb levels when Vitamin C is introduced and will need to adjust the patients epogen doses. Lastly nurses need to be apprised to side effects related to vitamin C use and monitor and assess their patients for signs of hyperoxalemia such as noted crystals in the tissue of the body, cardiovascular changes and symptoms and vascular changes. Summary In summary, this research found that there was some benefit of using Vitamin C for improving hemoglobins in patients with ESRD receiving hemodialysis. It also showed that using vitamin C decreased the amount of epogen needed in dialysis patients. This topic would benefit in longer clinical trials with larger groups of participants to study more accurately the effects Vitamin C use has in relation to hyperoxalemia in dialysis

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