The physiological stress of critically ill patients can trigger several complications, including digestive bleeding due to stress ulcers (DBSU). The use of acid secretion suppressants to reduce their incidence has become widely used, but with the current understanding of the risks of these drugs, their use, as prophylaxis in critically ill patients, is limited to the patients with established risk factors.
To determine the appropriateness of the use of prophylaxis for stress ulcer bleeding in acutely ill patients admitted to intensive care units and to analyze the association of risk factors with adherence to the prophylaxis guideline.
Retrospective, analytical study carried out in three general adult intensive care units. Electronic medical records were analyzed for epidemiological data, risk factors for DBSU, use of stress ulcer prophylaxis, occurrence of any digestive bleeding and confirmed DBSU. The daily analysis of risk factors and prophylaxis use were in accordance with criteria based on the Guidelines of the Portuguese Society of Intensive Care for stress ulcer prophylaxis.
One hundred and five patients were included. Of the patient days with the opportunity to prescribe prophylaxis, compliance was observed in 95.1%. Of the prescription days, 82.35% were considered to be of appropriate use. Overt digestive bleeding occurred in 3.81% of those included. The occurrence of confirmed DBSU was identified at 0.95%. Multivariate analysis by logistic regression did not identify risk factors independently associated with adherence to the guideline, but identified risk factors with a negative association, which were spinal cord injury (OR 0.02 p <0.01) and shock (OR 0.36 p=0.024).
The present study showed a high rate of adherence to stress ulcer prophylaxis, but with inappropriate use still significant. In the indication of prophylaxis, attention should be paid to patients with spinal cord injury and in shock.
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