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Acute kidney injury deaths blamed on 'systematic failings'

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A national inquiry into the care of people with acute kidney injury (AKI) has found ‘systematic failings’ were responsible for some patients deaths.

The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) found half of people who died in hospital from kidney failure did not receive a good standard of care and in 43% of cases there was an ‘unacceptable delay’ in recognising the condition.

In a further 13% of cases the inquiry, which looked at 564 patients who died from AKI in 215 hospitals between January and March 2007, found complications had been missed, 17% of which were ‘avoidable’.

The inquiry, which focused on patients suffering from acute kidney injury, said the way doctors cared for patients rather than the way hospitals organised the care was responsible for the failings.

Failings by doctors included not carrying out basic tests to assess for kidney failure, with 33% of patients having received ‘inadequate investigations’.

Health minister Ann Keen, said: ‘We are seriously concerned that some hospitals are failing to follow the quality requirements in NICE guidelines and in our strategy for kidney care, the National Service Framework for Renal Services.’

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