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Experts issue gastric bleeding advice

A group of medical bodies is tackling the number of unnecessary deaths from gastric bleeding by issuing guidance on the medical emergency.

Gastric bleeding affects around 30,000 people in the UK every year, with 10% of cases resulting in death.

Six leading medical bodies have set out advice, which includes highlighting to patients what are the minimum standards they should expect - such as urgently investigating the bleed and treating it - as well as calling for equitable services.

Dr Kel Palmer of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), one of the six organisations behind the guidance, said: “The audit we carried out clearly highlighted that there is a great inequity in service provision across the UK.”

He added that it was understandable that some smaller hospitals may not be able to provide first class service constantly, but said that contingency plans should be put in place so patients that need urgent treatment can be transferred to hospitals that have the appropriate facilities.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Association of Upper GI Surgeons, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Radiologists and the BSG have issued the recommendations, which state that life-saving treatments such as interventional radiology or specialist surgery should be provided at any hospital day or night.

The guidance also advises that as a minimum, within 24 hours of admission a patient with a suspected bleed should have an endoscopy investigation.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • don't agree with this.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Anonymous | 16-Mar-2011 10:11 am

    don't agree with this

    please could you say what it is that you do not agree with and why?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • my experience of gastric hemorrhage whilst I was alone on nights on a 20-bedded ward was frightening and impressive. I found a patient lying across his bed with his head and feet dangling over each side holding a kidney dish which was rapidly flooding. I phoned the doctor and then went back to try, unsuccessfully, to move his dead weight back along the bed into a better position. the doctor came fairly quickly and took one look at the patient. i asked for his help to make the patient more comfortable but he rushed off saying he had to look at the notes. i found a colleague on the neighboring ward, also on her own, who briefly came to help me position the patient. by the time the doctor returned a few minutes later, the patient had died.

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