Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 55, Issue 12, pp 3430–3435 | Cite as

Characteristics and Outcomes of Upper Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage in a Tertiary Referral Hospital

  • Magnus HallandEmail author
  • Melissa Young
  • Michael N. Fitzgerald
  • Kerry Inder
  • John M. Duggan
  • Anne Duggan
Original Article


Background and Aims

Upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage remains a problem in spite of improved diagnosis and management. There is sparse knowledge of recent epidemiology and outcomes. We wanted to evaluate the characteristics and outcomes of patients with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage over a 4-year period in a tertiary referral hospital.


We prospectively collected data on patients admitted with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage to John Hunter Hospital between August 2004 and December 2008. Variables of interest included age, gender, co-morbidities, and time to endoscopy. Main outcomes included etiology, treatment, and survival. Variceal and non-variceal bleeds were analyzed separately.


There were 792 admissions from 734 unique patients (61% male) with a mean age of 66 years. The most frequent causes of non-variceal bleeds (88%) included ulcers 265 (33%); Mallory Weiss tear 91 (11%); esophagitis 60 (8%), and malignancy 29 (4%). Most patients had one or more co-morbidity (74%). Transfusion was not employed in 41%. Overall mortality was 4.0% (5.4% in the variceal and 3.9% in the non-variceal group). Only 1.9% of patients had surgery.


Patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage are overall elderly with significant co-morbidities. Our overall mortality and surgery rates are lower than in previously published international data.


Audit Upper gastrointestinal bleeding Gastric and duodenal ulcers Epidemiology 



Analysis of variance


John Hunter Hospital


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Proton pump inhibitor


Standard deviation


Upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage



The authors would like to thank the medical, nursing, and allied health staff whose skills made this study possible.


Public hospital audit; No external sponsorship, grants or funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Halland
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melissa Young
    • 1
  • Michael N. Fitzgerald
    • 2
  • Kerry Inder
    • 2
  • John M. Duggan
    • 1
  • Anne Duggan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyJohn Hunter HospitalNew Lambton, NewcastleAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia

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