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Kidney policy to be reviewed at East Lancashire hospitals
BOSSES at the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals have pledged to review their processes after it was revealed that nationally thousands of patients are dying needlessly from kidney problems that could be treated.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said between 12,000 and 42,000 deaths could be prevented every year in English hospitals if patients received the best possible care.
Bosses at the trust which runs both hospitals said they would now look at how they could fulfil the new requirements for more checks.
The hospitals recently started investigating deaths from renal failure, as there has been an increase in the mortality rate for the condition since last December. Board members are currently awaiting the findings.
The Nice report said regular hydration and simple checks on the kidneys are the key to preventing acute kidney injuries, which can develop quickly in patients who are already ill with conditions such as heart failure or diabetes.
Kevin O’Hara, vice-chairman of the Lancashire & South Cumbria Kidney Patient Association, said: “Acute kidney injuries are often not spotted until it’s too late. If doctors are seeing someone for a heart or lung problem it could save a lot of problems if they did a simple test for kidney function.”
Dr Ian Stanley, deputy medical director at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said kidney checks are regularly performed on certain patients, such as those with appendicitis.
He said: “A detailed care plan is produced to address clinical and personal needs on admission to hospital. This includes appropriate assessment of renal functions any need for additional hydration. Daily clinical assessment is undertaken of patient progress to ensure that their needs continue to be met and these are recorded in the patient’s case notes.
“Pharmacists attend the wards daily to monitor effectiveness of patient medication and advise the clinicians of any need to alter medication.”
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