At least 1,000 hospital patients in England die each month from avoidable kidney problems, according to a new study commissioned by the NHS.
Researchers found that acute kidney injury (AKI) causes between 15,000 and 40,000 excess deaths every year.
The condition refers to a loss of kidney function and can develop very quickly. It can occur in people who are already ill with conditions such as heart failure or diabetes, and those admitted to hospital with infections.
AKI can also develop after major surgery, such as some kinds of heart surgery, because the kidneys can be deprived of normal blood flow during the procedure.
AKI costs the health service over £1 billion every year and is responsible for nearly eight times as many deaths as superbug MRSA at its peak, according to a study commissioned by NHS Improving Quality.