Acute Pancreatitis (AP)

AP is sudden, painful inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is part of the digestive system, and its main job is to control the digestion of the food that we eat, so that the body can make full use of the nutrients. It also regulates metabolism.

AP is usually triggered by gallstones, excessive alcohol or trauma. It causes extreme abdominal pain, which is often resistant to painkillers. Having AP can be disastrous for the person affected. On average it kills 1 in 20 people who suffer an attack.

For reasons that we don't completely understand, in around a quarter of AP patients, the damaged pancreas triggers the immune system to become harmful to the rest of the body. This results in the patient developing AP-MODS (Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome) which may result in damage to other organs, like lungs and kidneys and other vital organs. At this stage, the patient usually needs treatment in intensive care. For patients with AP-MODS, the likelihood of dying is 1 in 5.

We want to change this for the better, and vastly improve the care for people with AP and AP-MODS by bringing together the APPreSci consortium.

You can read more about Acute Pancreatitis on the NHS website.