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Delay in Transit: selected recommendations from the NCEPOD report on acute bowel obstruction


Delayed in Transit, the report of the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) on acute bowel obstruction (ABO), highlighted a number of areas for improvement in this group of patients. The overarching finding was that there were delays in the pathway of care for patients with ABO at every stage of the clinical pathway, including diagnosis, decision-making and the availability of operating theatres. Furthermore, basic measures including hydration, nutritional screening and nutritional assessment were noted to be deficient. Patients who were admitted to non-surgical wards had an increased risk of delayed treatment and subsequently a longer starvation period. There was room for improvement of nutritional screening and assessment on admission, throughout the hospital stay and on discharge. A selection of the report recommendations that address these areas requiring improvement is discussed here.

  • abdominal surgery
  • colorectal surgery
  • nutritional status

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