BLEED: a classification tool to predict outcomes in patients with acute upper and lower gastrointestinal hemorrhage

M H Kollef, J D O'Brien, G R Zuckerman, W Shannon
Critical Care Medicine 1997, 25 (7): 1125-32

OBJECTIVE: To develop an outcome prediction tool (BLEED: ongoing bleeding, low systolic blood pressure, elevated prothrombin time, erratic mental status, unstable comorbid disease) for clinical use in patients with either acute upper or acute lower gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage.

DESIGN: A cohort study.

SETTING: Barnes Hospital and Jewish Hospital, two private university-affiliated teaching hospitals in St. Louis, MO.

PATIENTS: Four hundred sixty-five patients with either acute upper or acute lower GI hemorrhage admitted from the emergency department.

INTERVENTIONS: Admission of patients to the intensive care unit or hospital ward was determined by emergency department physicians, without use or knowledge of BLEED criteria. Patients meeting any BLEED criteria at their initial assessment in the emergency department were classified as "high-risk." All other patients were classified as "low-risk."

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The main outcome measure was the occurrence of an inhospital complication, defined as recurrent GI hemorrhage, surgery to control the source of hemorrhage, and hospital mortality. Patients classified as high-risk had significantly greater rates of inhospital complications at both Barnes Hospital (relative risk, 2.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.38 to 4.44; p < .001) and Jewish Hospital (relative risk, 8.94; 95% confidence interval, 3.92 to 20.41; p < .001) compared with patients classified as low-risk. Patients classified as high-risk at either hospital were significantly more likely to develop additional organ system derangements, require a greater number of transfused units of packed red blood cells, and have longer hospital stays compared with patients classified as low-risk (p < .006). The BLEED classification also identified a greater frequency of intensive care admission for both low-risk (RR, 4.21; 95% Cl, 2.24 to 7.89) and high-risk (relative risk, 1.58; 95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 2.02) patients at Barnes Hospital compared with those patients at Jewish Hospital, although no beneficial effects on patient outcome were reported.

CONCLUSIONS: The BLEED classification, applied at initial emergency department evaluation and before admission, predicts hospital outcomes for patients with acute upper or lower GI hemorrhage. This outcome prediction tool also identified variations in intensive care utilization between two hospitals.

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