Risk factors associated with clinically significant gastrointestinal bleeding in pediatric ED

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Abstract

Introduction:

Gastrointestinal bleeding is a common problem in pediatric emergency department (PED). Some of these patients can lose significant amount of blood which may lead to shock. The aim of this study is to determine the risk factors predicting clinically significant gastrointestinal (GIS) bleeding in patients presenting to PED.

Methods:

This study was performed prospectively from January 1st 2013 to December 31th 2013 in patients with upper or lower GIS bleeding. Clinically significant GIS bleeding was defined as >2 g/dL hemoglobin decrease at any time during observation in PED, need for erythrocyte transfusion or need for rapid endoscopic evaluation.

Results:

105 patients were enrolled, 81 of which were eligible for the study. Twenty two patients (26,8%) had clinically significant GIS bleeding. These patients have significantly more commonly have upper GI bleeding and symptoms of melena, pallor and tachycardia. Initial laboratory findings revealed lower hemoglobin, RBC and albumin levels with higher WBC and BUN levels. They need significantly more nasogastric tube placement and PPI and H2 blocker treatment. Final diagnosis included more gastritis and peptic ulcers. These patients have less hematochezia, less lower gastrointestinal bleeding and less commonly diagnosed as acute gastroenteritis or Mallory Weiss tear as a final diagnosis.

Conclusions:

Pediatric emergency physicians should be aware of clinical and laboratory parameters of patients with clinically significant GIS bleeding to predict which patients are under risk of life threatening blood loss. Patients who have melena, pallor, tachycardia, anemia and uremia at presentation are more prone to have significant GIS bleeding.

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