This Week In The Bmj

Many ICUs use the wrong drug for prophylaxis of stress ulcers

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 05 April 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:d

Stress ulcers are common in critically ill patients, and intensive care units have traditionally given H2 receptor antagonists or sucralfate to patients at risk of serious bleeding, though a recent meta-analysis has shown sucralfate to be safer. In their telephone survey of 67 units in the Thames regions Wyncoll et al (p 1013) found that only 28 had a protocol for stress ulcer prophylaxis and that of 312 patients, 118 were receiving an H2 antagonist, 82 sucralfate, 3 omeprazole, and 110 no prophylaxis. Units with a protocol and teaching hospitals were more likely to prefer sucralfate.

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