GPs should measure the creatinine levels of all patients aged 65 years and over with an acute illness in order to detect those with acute kidney injury, say new guidelines from NICE published today.
The new guideline recommends GPs test creatinine levels in all patients with an acute illness aged 65 years, and all adults with conditions such as chronic kidney disease, heart failure, liver disease or diabetes.
It also recommends serum creatinine is measured to detect kidney damage in all young patients with acute illness who have conditions such as chronic kidney disease, heart failure and history of acute kidney injury.
Dr Mark Thomas, nephrologist at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and chair of the NICE guideline development group said: ‘The NICE recommendations give the NHS clear advice to reduce the number of avoidable deaths through acute kidney injury.’
Dr Kathryn Griffith, RCGP clinical champion for kidney care and a GP in York, welcomed the new guideline and said that GPs play a ‘key role’ in identifying and treating patients with acute kidney injury.
She said: ‘The more patients identified and treated in primary care, the better, both for our patients and the NHS.
‘The NICE guidelines outline important courses of action for GPs to identify patients who are most at risk of acute kidney injury, how to test for and diagnose the condition, and how to treat it.’