The researchers assessed outpatient management for low-risk nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.
The findings of the study were published in the January 2002 issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Endoscopic and clinical criteria were used to select patients at low risk for recurrent bleeding.
A total of 95 consecutive patients were randomized for either early discharge and outpatient care (48) or hospital care (47).
During the first 30 days patients were examined daily by their primary care physician and contacted by a gastroenterologist by telephone to assess clinical status.
The researchers determined rates of recurrent bleeding, hospitalization, surgery, and mortality.
Outpatient care: $340
Hospital care: $3940
| Gastrointestinal Endoscopy |
All patients underwent endoscopy within 12 hours of the onset of hemorrhage. No patient underwent surgery or died.
The team found that rates of recurrent bleeding were 2.1% in the early discharge group and 2.2% in the hospital-treated group (1 patient in each group).
Median costs were $340 for the outpatient group and $3940 for the hospital group.
Livio Cipolletta, of the Regione Campania and the Ospedale Maresca, concluded on behalf of fellow authors, "Outpatient care of patients at low risk for recurrent nonvariceal upper GI hemorrhage is safe and can lead to significant savings in hospital costs."