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
"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
" Ultimately, I want to keep raising awareness of the symptoms
and treatments so that AKIs are never missed."
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham