Triage of patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding for intensive care unit admission based on risk factors for poor outcome

B Afessa
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2000, 30 (3): 281-5
This study's aim was to determine the prognostic factors and to develop a triage system for intensive care unit (ICU) admission of patients with gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB). This prospective, observational study included 411 adults consecutively hospitalized for GIB. Each patient's selected clinical findings and laboratory values at presentation were obtained. The Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores were calculated from the initial findings in the emergency department. Poor outcome was defined as recurrent GIB, emergency surgery, or death. The role of hepatic cirrhosis, APACHE II score, active GIB, end-organ dysfunction, and hypotension in predicting outcome was evaluated. Chi-square, Student's t, Mann-Whitney U, and logistic regression analysis tests were used for statistical comparisons. Poor outcome developed in 81 (20%) patients; 39 died, 23 underwent emergency surgery, and 47 rebled. End-organ dysfunction, active bleeding, hepatic cirrhosis, and high APACHE II scores were independent predictors of poor outcome with odds ratios of 3:1, 3:1, 2:3, and 1:1, respectively. The ICU admission rate was 37%. High APACHE II score, active bleeding, end-organ dysfunction, and hepatic cirrhosis are independent predictors of poor outcome in patients with GIB and can be used in the triage of these patients for ICU admission.

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