New role to help reduce deaths at Ipswich Hospital from sepsis and acute kidney injury

Manju Markose and Lucy Butler. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

Manju Markose and Lucy Butler. Picture: IPSWICH HOSPITAL - Credit: IPSWICH HOSPITAL

Staff across Ipswich Hospital will be given more support to identify patients who develop potentially fatal conditions such as sepsis and acute kidney injury (AKI) thanks to the introduction of a dedicated specialist role.

Lucy Butler and Manju Markose have been jointly appointed as clinical nurse specialist for deteriorating patients, which is a brand new position designed to improve treatment while also reducing death rates.

The duo, who were both previously members of the hospital’s critical care outreach team, will initially focus on an education programme, including e-learning modules, to promote best practice for recognising, treating and transferring deteriorating patients. They will concentrate on sepsis and AKI, which are two of the most common causes of deterioration and can lead to significant long-term issues or even death if they are not treated quickly enough.

“I developed a particular interest in sepsis after watching a patient who had originally had the flu get sicker and sicker within just a few hours,” said Lucy, who has been a nurse for 17 years and has 13 years of intensive care unit (ITU) experience. “At the time we didn’t know much about the illness so it was shocking to see, but with a lot of support we helped her recover.

“I applied for this role as I wanted to make a difference by picking up those patients at an early stage so they do not end up in ITU with organ failure and facing years of issues after they have been treated.

“I am really excited – we have got lots of ideas to further improve care and are looking forward to working with colleagues to make them a reality.”

Manju qualified 19 years ago and has spent much of her career in critical care, and developed an interest in AKI after caring for deteriorating patients for many years and writing a dissertation on the subject for her master’s degree.

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In the UK, up to 100,000 deaths each year in hospital are associated with AKI, according to 2009 data, Manju said.

She added: “Up to 30% could be prevented with the right care and treatment but cases can be successfully treated if it is identified early enough. As such, I believe there are lots of things we can do in this new role to help save lives.

“I am really enjoying the job so far as I love this topic. I hope that we can make a huge difference both in the hospital and within our local community as we will also be working to raise awareness of the best way to manage deteriorating patients among our colleagues in the wider NHS.”