Photo: Left to right, Dr Andrew Falzon, Mr Rahul Mistry and editor of Health Service Journal Alastair McLellan at the Patient Safety Congress and Awards in Birmingham


Two doctors have won a national patient safety prize for their work preventing kidney injury in older people.

Dr Andrew Falzon, a Foundation Year 1 doctor, and Consultant Urological Surgeon Mr Rahul Mistry, won the Patient Safety in Care of Older People Award with their projects “Breaking AKI” and “Ur-ine-volved” at the Patient Safety Congress and Awards held in Birmingham on Monday.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs when there is sudden damage to the kidneys. This will cause a reduction in their function which can be temporary or permanent if not identified early. It particularly affects people over 65 but also those with long-term medical conditions such as heart failure and diabetes.

Experts estimate AKI is responsible for one-in-five emergency admissions to hospital and up to 100,000 hospital deaths of which nearly a quarter could be prevented.

Dr Falzon and Mr Mistry who are both doctors at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, developed a three-pronged approach that:

• Educates and involves patients
• Promotes early recognition of symptoms
• Helps with the management of AKI in hospital

“By empowering patients through education, patients can assess their own hydration status through their urine colour and quantity as well as identify any symptoms that should be brought to the attention of a medical professional,” said Dr Falzon.

Mr Mistry added: “As doctors, we’re always telling patients to drink more but it’s less straight-forward to advise how much.”

“The tools we have developed include information sheets which allow self-directed patient education. We are both delighted the work has been recognised at these prestigious awards.”


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