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National endorsement for training resource

Congratulations to Claire Stocks, senior sister in the Trust's cardiac arrest prevention team, who has had an education package she's created, on acute kidney injury, endorsed by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

Claire writes, "Acute kidney injury simply means a reduction in function over a short period of time and not usually a result of a physical blow to the body.  Left untreated this can lead to life threatening complications such as cardiac arrhythmias and a build-up of acid in the blood.

"A national report,  'adding insult to injury' suggested that in the UK up to 100,000 deaths each year in hospital are associated with acute kidney injury (AKI).  Up to 30% could be prevented with the right care and treatment. It's estimated that one person in five, admitted to hospital as an emergency, has an AKI.

"An AKI may on occasion be difficult to spot as the symptoms might not be very specific.  This can mean other potential diagnoses are considered first which, in addition to causing a delay, can be detrimental to the patient as some medications (in the short term) make an AKI worse. AKIs can take hold of a patient quickly - in just a few hours sometimes, so early diagnosis is essential.  65% of AKIs occur in the community.

"It might sound strange, but I've had a particular interest in kidney function and problems from a number of years now, probably because I have a close relative with kidney issues which led me to have a much greater knowledge and understanding of the problems that can occur than I would otherwise have had.  This in turn sparked my interest in raising awareness.

"The fact is that a simple blood test quickly identifies if a patient has an AKI and treatment can be very effective if started early enough. We just need it to be front of mind for people at home, and colleagues in the community and hospitals.

"I developed a study day on AKI a couple of years ago, with support from colleagues, including Dr Mike Jones, acute care physician, Dr Gemma Smith, Hazel Borthwick in clinical chemistry and Laura Smith (a senior pharmacist). To date, over 250 staff have been on the study day and I'm really proud that it now features on the Think Kidneys website.  CLICK HERE

"My vision for the study day was to ensure key messages such as ensuring patients are fully hydrated, medications are reviewed and patients are appropriately escalated if acutely unwell to staff at CDDFT.  We know that some AKI is avoidable and I want to ensure that staff at CDDFT know the warning signs, can identify patients who are more at risk and simple steps that can be taken to prevent further deterioration.

"When other Trusts began asking me to set up study days and learning packages for their staff, I realised there was a region wide need for education, so I now deliver the training to staff from across the North East, and I'm soon to travel to Scotland to visit Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to assist with their first course.

" Ultimately, I want to keep raising awareness of the symptoms and treatments so that AKIs are never missed."

'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough - could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'

Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community Hospital