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'Needless' kidney-related deaths

Thousands of hospital patients are dying needlessly every year from kidney problems that could be treated, according to new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

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A quarter of AKI patients admitted to hospital will die

Facts about acute kidney injury:

  • Between 262,000 and one million people admitted to hospital as an emergency will have AKI, of which just under a quarter will die.
  • Of these, between 12,000 and 42,000 deaths could be prevented if patients received good treatment, according to Nice.
  • A 2009 report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) found only half of all patients with AKI had received good care, dropping to a third of those who developed it while in hospital.
  • A third of patients suffered due to inadequate investigations, including health staff not carrying out "simple" and "basic" checks.
  • Staff were also found to be "poor" at recognising symptoms and did not always refer patients to kidney specialists in time.

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