SAM Response to NCEPOD Report

Strictly embargoed until Friday 22 November 2013 00.01

The Society for Acute Medicine response to NCEPOD report “Managing the flow? A report on aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage”

The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) welcomes the report concerning aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH) (link) published by NCEPOD today (22 November 2013) which recommends:

  • Formal networks of care should be established, linking all secondary care hospitals receiving aSAH patients to a designated regional neurosurgical/neuroscience centre.
  • Standard protocols for the care of aSAH patients in secondary care hospitals should be developed to improve diagnosis, stabilisation, management, referral and transfer of patients to neurosurgical centres and subsequent repatriation to secondary care including rehabilitation.
  • Appropriately funded rehabilitation for all patients following an aSAH should include as a minimum: access to information for patients and relatives; specialist nurses; and comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services.
  • Policies and audit should be developed to improve rates of organ donation.

Dr Alistair Douglas, SAM President said: “This study reviewed many aspects of the care of patients with aSAH. Acute onset headache is a common presentation to A&E departments and Acute Medical Units and only a small minority (10% or less) will have aSAH or another serious condition as the cause.  The good news is that the majority of cases were felt to have no room for improvement in care, 96% received adequate investigation in secondary care and there was no delay in CT scan requesting in 90% of cases. There were cases where care could have been better and all involved in Acute Medicine are encouraged to read the report.”

Notes to the editors:

  • Acute medicine (also known as acute internal medicine) is the specialty which deals with the immediate and early treatment of adult patients with a variety of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.
  • The Society for Acute Medicine is the national representative body for the speciality of acute medicine and represents around a thousand members.
  • Dr Alistair Douglas is a consultant in acute medicine and nephrology at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in Dundee and is available for interview.

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