Acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage in a district general hospital: audit of an agreed management policy

J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1991 Jan;25(1):27-30.


All patients from an unselected population admitted with acute upper gastrointestinal (GI) haemorrhage to a District General Hospital (DGH) were studied prospectively over one year. Before the study period a management policy was agreed between physicians and surgeons. One-hundred-and-nine patients were admitted. Sixty-eight per cent were over 60 and 17% over 80 years of age. Sixty patients bled from peptic ulcers and seven patients rebled. Endoscopic stigmata (visible vessel, adherent clot, and oozing) were useful in identifying those at increased risk of rebleeding but not as an indication for surgery. Six patients underwent surgery for peptic ulceration with one postoperative death. There were four deaths among the other patient groups giving an overall mortality of 4.6%. This audit shows a low mortality after acute upper GI haemorrhage can be achieved even in an elderly population in a DGH without the establishment of a specialist unit but with an agreed policy of management.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Hospitals, District / standards*
  • Hospitals, General / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wales