Article Text

This article has a correction. Please see:

Evaluation of the need for endoscopy to identify low-risk patients presenting with an acute upper gastrointestinal bleed suitable for early discharge
  1. G G Robins1,
  2. M S Sarwar2,
  3. M Armstrong1,
  4. M E Denyer1,
  5. S Bush3,
  6. T Hassan4,
  7. S M Everett5
  1. 1
    Department of Gastroenterology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Gastroenterology, Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow G42 9TY, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Emergency Medicine, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
  4. 4
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  5. 5
    Centre for Digestive Diseases, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  1. Dr G Robins, Level 7, Clinical Sciences Building, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK; medggr{at}


Aims: To audit the safety of differing protocol-driven early-discharge policies, from two sites, for low-risk acute upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding and determine if default early (<24 h) in-patient endoscopy is necessary.

Methods: All patients with low-risk acute upper GI bleeding presenting to two separate hospital sites in Leeds from August 2002 to March 2005 were identified. Both hospitals operate nurse-led process-driven protocols for discharge within 24 h, but only one includes default endoscopy. Relevant information was obtained from patients’ notes, patient administration systems, discharge letters and endoscopy records.

Results: 120 patients were admitted to site A and 74 to site B. Median length of stay on the clinical decisions unit was 12.6 h at site A and 9.4 h at site B (p = 0.045). Oesophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed on 89/120 (74%) patients at site A compared with only 7/74 (9%) at site B (p<0.001). Six of 120 (5%) patients from site A were admitted to hospital for further observation compared with 6/74 (8%) from site B (p = 0.38). Of the remaining patients, all were discharged within 24 h, and 8/114 (7%) at site A vs 17/68 (25%) at site B were given hospital clinic follow-up (p<0.001). None of the 194 patients had further bleeding or complications within 30 days.

Conclusions: Patients admitted with a low-risk acute upper GI bleeding can be managed safely by a nurse-led process-driven protocol, based on readily available clinical and laboratory variables, with early discharge <24 h. Avoiding in-patient endoscopy appears to be safe but at the price of greater clinic follow-up.

  • discharge protocol
  • emergency medicine
  • endoscopy
  • gastrointestinal haemorrhage

Statistics from


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Abbreviations:
    clinical decisions unit

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Miscellaneous
    The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine