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Practitioner 2011;255(1737): 15-17

Which patients with renal colic should be referred?

23 Feb 2011Pais-up subscribers

Renal stone disease is a common, and potentially recurrent, condition that affects 5-15% of the population worldwide.Symptomatic renal stone disease is at least twice as common in men as women.The incidence has risen over two decades and 1-2 people per thousand present with an acute episode of pain caused by renal stones each year. Annually there are more than 12,000 renal stone-related hospital admissions and considerably more GP consultations for management of renal colic. Data from NHS Direct showed that 80% of patients with renal colic symptoms were advised to contact their GP as the first port of call. The challenge for GPs is to identify which cases may be treated safely at home and which need immediate referral to hospital.

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