Hospital sees a big improvement in care for kidney patients

Dr Anupam Brahma

Dr Anupam Brahma - Credit: Archant

Patients with acute kidney injury at West Suffolk Hospital are now receiving faster, more effective care and are less likely to die as a result.

The “dramatic” improvements come after the introduction of new measures aimed at helping staff identify and treat the condition quicker. The hospital has brought in a range of measures, alongside best practice guidelines, to improve care over the past year.

The changes include using a blood test to screen for acute kidney injury (AKI) so that it can be detected early. Patients with the illness are also discussed regularly by clinical teams to ensure continuity of care.

As a result, mortality levels for patients suffering from the condition, formerly known as acute renal failure, have dropped significantly, while more people are surviving without suffering any long-term kidney impairment.

“Patients with AKI often have an infection which may cause diarrhoea or vomiting, but the condition itself mostly doesn’t cause any symptoms,” said Dr Anupam Brahma, consultant in acute medicine and clinical lead for AKI. “That is why it can be so difficult to spot.

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“But by introducing these new measures, we are making it easier for our staff to identify patients at risk of AKI and carry out the appropriate tests so that they can start treatment immediately.

“This is incredibly important with this condition, as any delay in getting patients the right medication can cause long-term damage or even death.

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“At West Suffolk, we are ahead of the game and have taken action to introduce these new national guidelines long before many other hospitals. As a result, we have dramatically improved the care our patients receive and their outcomes.”

In the future, the hospital hopes to introduce a specific outpatient clinic to provide follow up care to AKI patients.

Tony Rollo, chairman of Healthwatch Suffolk, said: “This is clearly good news for patients and demonstrates a commitment from the hospital to enhance its services.”

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