Outpatient Intravenous Diuretic Clinic: An Effective Strategy for Management of Volume Overload and Reducing Immediate Hospital Admissions

Vivek Verma, Manling Zhang, Marilyn Bell, Karen Tarolli, Elinor Donalson, Jamie Vaughn, Gavin W. Hickey


Background: Heart failure (HF) readmissions pose a major burden to patients and the healthcare system. We evaluated whether outpatient intravenous (IV) diuretic clinic is a safe and effective strategy to reduce HF hospitalizations.

Methods: We reviewed 34 clinic encounters with 27 unique patients (median age 72) who had volume overload refractory to oral diuretics that were treated with IV furosemide in the outpatient clinic. One patient (2.9%) was admitted to the hospital directly, and the rest were discharged home.

Results: More than 80% of the patients had continued weight loss for 7 days (median weight loss 5.4 lb). During the median follow-up period of 15 months, 15 patients (56%) had subsequent HF hospitalizations. HF admission was delayed by a median of 22 days from the clinic visit and 138 days from the previous HF admission prior to clinic visit. Estimated cost saving per admission avoided was $10,395. One patient developed severe hypokalemia (< 3.0 mmol/L), and the remaining had no adverse events.

Conclusion: Outpatient IV diuresis is effective and well tolerated. It leads to significant weight loss, persisting in the majority of patients for 7 days. In select patients, it should be considered as a strategy to rapidly improve symptoms, reduce hospitalizations and decrease costs.

J Clin Med Res. 2021;13(4):245-251
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4499


Heart failure; Outpatient IV diuresis; Recurrent admissions; Cost-effective; Hospitalizations

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