Not ‘just a hernia’ – the complication costing lives

Hernias are common. Although often seen as minor – they can obstruct the bowel which can prove fatal.

The results of a BDRF-funded study shedding new light on this problem have just been published in the British Journal of Surgery.

The research highlights poor outcomes, including a death rate of nearly 10%, for patients with a bowel obstruction due to hernia. There is a pressing need for more research & quality improvement initiatives in the NHS to protect them.

The findings are based on data from the BDRF-funded National Audit of Small Bowel Obstruction (NASBO).

NASBO was the first UK-wide assessment of care for people with this extremely painful and distressing condition.

The poor outcomes for hernia patients is a major cause for concern – with research already underway to tackle it. We hope these findings will spur more action to improve care.

Matt Lee, head of the NASBO steering group and NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Surgery at the University of Sheffield, said: “‘The NASBO project has provided lots of useful information. This dataset tells us that this group has outcomes that are worse than we would expect. It’s clearly not just a hernia. We would encourage colleagues to consider this dataset when making treatment decisions on call.'”

We’re delighted to see BDRF research once again recommending important changes to clinical practice. We hope this research will save lives in the future.

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