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Medical & Surgical Review Programme: Acute pancreatitis full report
Published: 07 Jul 2016
Acute pancreatitis patients suffer repeat hospital admissions because the cause is not identified or treated properly.
Patients with acute pancreatitis (AP) suffer preventable, repeat admissions to hospital because the cause of their pancreatitis has either not been diagnosed or not been treated, the latest report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) reveals. In one in five cases (143/692) patients had had one or more previous episodes of AP and in 93% of these (121/130) the cause of readmission with AP was the same as it had been previously.
Acute pancreatitis patients suffer severe pain that is caused by inflammation of the pancreas. It affects young and old, and in just one six-month period in 2014 over 14,000 people were admitted to hospital with AP. NCEPOD identified that gallstones were the most common cause (46.5%; 322/692) of AP, and for 22% (152/692) of patients it was alcohol excess. In 20% of cases it is very likely patients will develop a severe form of the disease and be at risk of death, and when this happens they will need critical care support and a prolonged stay in hospital.