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An audit of fatal acute pancreatitis.
  1. A. K. Banerjee,
  2. A. Kaul,
  3. E. Bache,
  4. A. C. Parberry,
  5. J. Doran,
  6. M. L. Nicholson
  1. Department of Surgery, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.


    Acute pancreatitis has a mortality of about 10%: this figure has not changed over the last 20 years. A retrospective audit of fatal acute pancreatitis was performed in a teaching hospital with a catchment population of about 750,000 patients to examine patient characteristics. Using Hospital Activity Analysis code 577.0, all fatal cases of acute pancreatitis were studied in a six-year period 1987-93. Additionally, all post mortem diagnoses of acute pancreatitis were traced. The overall post mortem rate in Nottingham at the time of the study was about 35%. All available records, X-ray and biochemical data were studied and appropriate information recorded and analysed for 65 fatal cases. Only 15% were post mortem diagnoses, lower than in previous series; 72% had respiratory and 67% had renal complications. Only 34% had been admitted to the intensive care unit. A third of patients had had surgery; 67% of these was some form of external drainage. Of the 14 patients with proven gallstone pancreatitis only three had endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; 42% of patients had idiopathic disease. Not all the patients diagnosed ante mortem had the full biochemical predicted severity criteria analysed: pO2 and calcium analysis was performed in about 80%. Pre-mortem diagnoses of pancreatitis was achieved more frequently than in other comparable series.

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