LONDON, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Experts call for better diagnosis and management to reduce emergency admissions
Ferronomics, the first investigation of its kind, has uncovered nearly 80,000 hospital admissions a year in England due to raised heart rate, shortness of breath and chronic fatigue caused by iron deficiency anaemia. Last year, there were more hospital admissions of this kind than there were for asthma.
The findings from the Ferronomics report, published today, highlight how iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), identified by the NHS as a target condition for reducing hospital admissions, is not being efficiently detected and treated in the community, resulting in an annual £55 million financial burden on stretched NHS resources.
The number of IDA hospital admissions classified as emergencies has increased to 15,420 a year, up 10 per cent from two years ago. This increase is adding pressure on crowded A&E departments, providing worse outcomes for patients and, according to doctors, is largely preventable through appropriate management.
The findings of Ferronomics, which are now being shared with the NHS, were compiled and analysed by Dr Andrew Goddard, Registrar at the Royal College of Physicians and Ceri Phillips, Professor of Health Economics at the Swansea Centre for Health Economics. The Report was fully sponsored by Vifor Pharma UK Ltd.
Commenting on the findings Dr Goddard said, "Iron deficiency anaemia is under-treated and under-diagnosed, which is concerning given the impact it has on patients. The rising number of emergency hospital admissions suggests GPs and hospital doctors need to work together to improve diagnosis and management of patients."
Large variations were identified in the report among Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the number of emergency admissions, likelihood of patients being readmitted to hospital following treatment and how long patients spent in hospital receiving treatment. The authors estimate that bringing the worst performing CCGs to average levels could save the NHS over £8 million and release over 8,000 hospital bed days each year.
The report outlines a number of practical steps NHS commissioners, doctors and policy makers can make to achieve these savings. These include, re-examining hospital discharge pathways, improving coordination between primary and specialist care and reviewing the lack of indicators or targets relating to the quality of care provided to IDA patients.
Professor Ceri Phillips, from the Swansea Centre for Health Economics said, "This report demonstrates the burden of anaemia on patients and the NHS is far greater than we anticipated. Steps to reduce emergency admissions are pivotal in improving both the quality and efficiency of IDA services."
Notes to editors
About iron deficiency anaemia
IDA is a common health concern in the developed world, occurring in 2-5% of adult men and post-menopausal women. It occurs when the amount of iron being absorbed by the body is less than that being lost, most often due to blood loss. However, IDA is also very common in patients with inflammatory conditions such as IBD, chronic heart failure, COPD and rheumatoid arthritis.,
All patients who are diagnosed as being iron deficient should receive iron therapy (oral or intravenous) to correct the anaemia and replenish body iron stores. Treatment of IDA with iron has been shown to significantly improve quality of life., Not treating IDA can exacerbate symptoms such as, fatigue, physical weakness, breathlessness, elevated heart rate, headache, difficulty concentrating and, in some cases, fainting.
The NHS has designated IDA as an ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC). These are a group of conditions, for which hospital admissions are deemed largely preventable through appropriate management in primary care. Reduction in emergency admissions for ACSCs is a key indicator for improving care for people with long-term conditions.
The Ferronomics Report is an analysis of NHS hospital (HES) data and existing published literature. All data analysis was defined by the two authors Professor Ceri Phillips and Dr Andrew Goddard and then run by an independent provider. The Report is fully sponsored by Vifor Pharma UK Ltd. Vifor have been involved in the initiation of the Report, its content, publication and selection of the authors.
About Vifor Pharma
Vifor Pharma as the pharmaceutical business sector of the Galenica Group, is one of the world's leaders in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of iron deficiency. The company also offers a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines as well as over-the-counter products. Vifor Pharma, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, has an increasingly global presence and a broad network of affiliates and partners around the world.
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Date of Preparation June 2014
SOURCE Vifor Pharma