Great Western Hospital builds on sepsis success and asks local people to Think Kidneys!

Posted: August 8, 2016

Another step towards saving 500 lives

Think Kidneys logo 200Following the success of the Trust's sepsis campaign which has saved 223 lives over the past two years, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is now also aiming to improve treatment and raise awareness of acute kidney injury. 

Kidneys look after our bodies through the production of urine to get rid of excess water and toxins. Acute kidney injury is sudden damage to the kidneys that causes them to not work properly, usually as a result of another serious illness such as sepsis. 

500 Lives 200

It is 100 times more deadly than MRSA and tackling it is key to achieving the Trust's goal of saving an extra 500 lives by 2020

Every day up to 14 patients are admitted into the Great Western Hospital with acute kidney injury, which is one in five of all emergency medical admissions. If it's not detected early and treated promptly, abnormal levels of salts and chemicals can build up in the body, affecting the ability of other organs to work properly which can be fatal. 

Funded by Brighter Futures, a new Acute Sepsis and Kidney Injury (ASK) Team will join the Trust this autumn, made up of five specialist nurses who will be on-call to provide hands-on support and expert advice to staff across the hospital. 

The team will aim to improve survival rates from acute kidney injury by achieving an annual mortality rate of just 16 per cent by 2018, meaning that four out of every five patients will survive. Current monthly mortality rates are up to 24 per cent. 

The ASK team will be tasked with ensuring all patients with acute kidney injury are treated using the same set of clinical interventions which are based on international best practice. The team will also work with staff across the organisation and healthcare partners such as GPs to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms. 

Nic Lythell, ASK lead nurse, said: "Like sepsis, acute kidney injury is a major cause of deterioration in patients and one of our Sign up to Safety priorities

"In the UK up to 100,000 deaths each year in hospital are associated with acute kidney injury and although one in three could be prevented with the right care and treatment, awareness is low both among healthcare professionals and the public. 

"This is a safety priority for us as we know that if we consistently treat acute kidney injury in an effective and timely way and improve awareness, we can save more lives." 

The Trust is supporting NHS England's Think Kidneys campaign which aims to reduce avoidable harm and death for people with acute kidney injury, and improve care for patients whether in hospital or at home.

Further information

Please visit the Think Kidneys website (

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