Vascular pathway in east Suffolk

Yellow kit bag

Earlier this year, the Trust set up a pathway for patients who are suspected of having an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) to go to the most appropriate hospital in the east Suffolk area, following the removal of vascular surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

Surgery is vital for patients suffering an AAA, so the Trust worked with vascular surgeons and commissioners to develop a pathway to identify patients who would benefit going directly to Colchester Hospital, bypassing Ipswich.

Due to the potential difficulties in being certain a patient is suffering from an AAA, the criteria for the pathway is reasonably strict. Cards were printed when the pathway went live and given to staff in Norfolk, Suffolk, south Cambridgeshire and north-east Essex.

Ipswich Hospital also set up a rapid ultrasound service in their emergency department to confirm or rule out an AAA for patients who did not meet the pathway criteria, so they can arrange a secondary transfer as soon as possible if needed. Please consider pre-alerting Ipswich Hospital if you are taking a patient in, who is over the age of 50 with abdominal or lower back pain and AAA is a potential diagnosis.

You can download a copy of the pocket card here.

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