Avoid­able’

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

THE very high com­pli­ca­tion rates for peo­ple liv­ing with bowel or in­testi­nal fail­ure (IF) — a con­di­tion where the bowel is un­able to digest food or ab­sorb flu­ids — is un­ques­tion­ably linked to the lack of cen­tralised, spe­cial­ist care in Ire­land, doc­tors have claimed.

The Ir­ish So­ci­ety for Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion & Me­tab­o­lism points to a new Ir­ish study pub­lished in the Ir­ish Med­i­cal Jour­nal show­ing 77pc of peo­ple with IF ex­pe­ri­enced at least one ma­jor com­pli­ca­tion with an 18pc mor­tal­ity rate over the study pe­riod.

One third of peo­ple sur­veyed ex­pe­ri­enced a cen­tral line in­fec­tion, which is largely pre­ventable. More than half had emer­gency treat­ment and there was an av­er­age of 2.9 hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions per pa­tient, each last­ing 13 days.

Dr David Ke­vans, a gas­troen­terol­o­gist in St James’s Hos­pi­tal said that “pa­tients in Ire­land fare less well than pa­tients in coun­tries with spe­cial­ist cen­tres such as Den­mark, the UK and just a few miles up the road in North­ern Ire­land.

“It re­ally is a na­tional dis­grace that we know­ingly pro­vide a sys­tem of care for in­testi­nal fail­ure pa­tients that fails to meet even the min­i­mum stan­dards of care avail­able in North­ern Ire­land and in­ter­na­tion­ally. We es­ti­mate, based on UK data, that there’s a min­i­mum 12 avoid­able deaths each year and many more un­nec­es­sary com­pli­ca­tions due to the lack of cen­tralised, spe­cial­ist care.”

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