International journal of colorectal disease 2017 07 15() doi 10.1007/s00384-017-2844-2
Outcomes of acute lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage (ALGIH) are mostly derived from studies performed in the sub-acute/elective rather than the emergency department (ED) setting. The aims of this study were to determine the incidence and outcomes of patients presenting to a tertiary hospital ED with ALGIH and to identify associated clinicopathological risk factors.
A retrospective observational cohort study of consecutive patients presenting with ALGIH to a tertiary hospital ED was performed. Primary outcome measures included mortality and hospital (including high dependency [HDU]) admission. Secondary outcome measures included rates of (i) blood transfusion, (ii) radiological/endoscopic investigation(s) and (iii) therapeutic intervention.
ALGIH accounted for 949 (512 M, mean age 62.3 years) of 130,262 (0.73%) ED presentations, of which 285 patients (30.1%) were on anti-platelet/coagulant therapy. There were five deaths (0.5%). Hospital admission was required in 498 patients (52.5%), of which 19 (3.8%) required HDU monitoring. Hospital admission was twice as likely in males and four times more likely in patients >75 years old and those taking multiple anti-platelet/coagulant therapy (P < 0.05). Blood product transfusion was required in 172 patients (34.5%), specialist investigations in 230 (46.2%) and therapeutic intervention in 51 (10.2%) (surgery in 24 [4.8%]; endoscopic haemostasis in 20 [4.0%] and angiographic embolisation in 9 [1.8%] patients). CONCLUSION
ALGIH accounts for 1% of all ED presentations, with half requiring hospital admission. Mortality and surgical intervention rates are low and although most patients can be managed supportively, access to interventional radiology/endoscopy is important.