Factors Associated With Emergency Department Discharge, Outcomes and Follow-Up Rates of Stable Patients With Lower Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Tracey A. Martin, Sunena Tewani, Lindsay Clarke, Aiya Aboubakr, Srikanth Palanisamy, Jihui Lee, Carl V. Crawford, David W. Wan


Background: Lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) is a common reason for hospitalization. However, recent data suggest low-risk patients may be safely evaluated as an outpatient. Here, we compare stable LGIB patients discharged from the emergency department (ED) with those admitted, determine factors associated with discharge and 30-day outcomes, and evaluate follow-up rates amongst the discharged cohort.

Methods: A retrospective study of stable LGIB patients (heart rate < 100 beats/min, systolic blood pressure > 100 mm Hg and blood on rectal exam) who presented to the ED was conducted. Factors associated with discharge and rates of outpatient follow-up were determined in the discharged cohort. Therapeutic interventions and 30-day outcomes (including re-bleeding, re-admission and mortality rates) were compared between the admitted and discharged groups.

Results: Ninety-seven stable LGIB patients were reviewed, of whom 38% were discharged and characteristics associated with discharge included age (P < 0.001), lack of aspirin (P < 0.002) and anticoagulant (P < 0.004) use, higher index hemoglobin (P < 0.001) and albumin (P < 0.001), lower blood urea nitrogen (P < 0.001) and creatinine (P = 0.008), lower Oakland score (P < 0.001), lower Charlson Comorbidity Index (P < 0.001) and lack of transfusion requirements (P < 0.001). There was no statistical difference in 30-day re-bleeding, re-admission or mortality rates between admitted and discharged patients. Discharged patients had a 46% outpatient follow-up rate.

Conclusions: While early discharge in low-risk LGIB patients appears to be safe and associated with a decrease in length of stay, further studies are needed to guide timely and appropriate outpatient evaluation.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(4):227-236
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1425


Colonoscopy; Hematochezia; Lower gastrointestinal bleed; Oakland score; Rectal bleeding

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