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Scoring system 'superior' to endoscopy for finding low-risk stomach bleeds

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Scottish researchers say combining a series of test results into a simple scoring method for identifying patients with stomach bleeds that are low risk could be used to free up more hospital beds.

A team from Glasgow Royal Infirmary tested the feasibility of using the Glasgow-Blatchford bleeding score, which uses clinical and laboratory test results as a risk scoring system – a score of zero identifies low-risk patients who might be suitable for outpatient management.

A group of 676 patients with stomach bleeds were assessed using the bleeding score, and another method called the Rockall score, which assessed patients at admission pre-endoscopy and post-endoscopy.

The team found that the Glasgow-Blatchford score identified 16% of patients as scoring zero. For prediction of need for intervention or death, it was better than Rockall scores.

When the Glasgow-Blatchford score was introduced into clinical practice in two of these hospitals, the proportion of individuals with stomach bleeds admitted to hospital also fell from 96% to 71%.

The study is published online in the Lancet.

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