Intended for healthcare professionals


Bowel obstruction: inquiry finds significant delays in care pathway

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 30 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m403
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

Patients with acute bowel obstruction are experiencing significant delays at every stage in the care pathway, contributing to the high mortality rates for the condition, a report by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death has concluded.1

There are over 22 000 admissions for bowel obstruction in England and Wales each year, of which 6.4% result in death within 90 days. When surgery is required, mortality can exceed 10%, far higher than seen in elective gastrointestinal surgery.

The report says there are significant opportunities to improve patient care for those …

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