Methods. A retrospective review was conducted of 105 patients admitted to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary with the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis over a 2-yr period (January 1, 1996 to December 31, 1997).
Results. Six patients admitted during the study period died with a mortality rate of 5.7%. All patients died within 6 d of admission and received care in the intensive care unit. All presented with serious comorbid medical problems and/or developed early multiorgan dysfunction syndrome (MODS). Ten patients underwent pancreatic necrosectomy with no mortality.
Conclusion. In patients with acute pancreatitis, late “septic” deaths resulting from infection of pancreatic tissue can be avoided, but some early deaths are unavoidable owing to serious multiorgan dysfunction often combined with age or other comorbid conditions.
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