Background: Low risk of rebleeding has been observed in patients with gastrointestinal bleeding due to peptic ulcer without high-risk stigmata of recent hemorrhage. We aimed to evaluate the safety and acceptability of an aggressive early discharge policy in those patients admitted with upper gastrointestinal bleeding due to duodenal ulcers without high-risk stigmata of recent hemorrhage.
Method: Retrospective analysis was carried out in bleeding ulcer patients less than 60 years of age with stable vital signs and no stigmata or only flat spots on endoscopy. A prospective study was then performed that included only duodenal ulcer patients less than 60 years of age with stable vital signs, no concomitant serious medical illness, and no stigmata of recent hemorrhage. These patients were discharged on the same day that endoscopy was performed.
Results: During a period of 18 months, 72 patients satisfied the criteria in the retrospective study. The mean hospital stay was 1.4 days (range, 1 to 5). There were no episodes of rebleeding nor significant drops in hemoglobin level 2 weeks after discharge (10.8 gm/dL +/- 1.4 vs 11.0 gm/dL +/- 1.5). Seventy-five patients were recruited into the prospective study. None of them had rebleeding nor significant drops in hemoglobin 1 week after discharge (12.1 gm/dL +/- 1.8 vs 11.7 gm/dL +/- 2.5).
Conclusion: We conclude that patients with gastrointestinal bleeding who have clean-based duodenal ulcers and are stable on admission can be safely discharged on the same day as endoscopy.