Prophylactic proton pump inhibitors in femoral neck fracture patients - A life - and cost-saving intervention (2016)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Singh, R, Trickett, R, Meyer, Cer, Lewthwaite, S, Ford, D

Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Jul 2016, vol. 98, no. 6, p. 371-375

Introduction Acute gastrointestinal stress ulceration is a common and serious complication of trauma. Prophylactic proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine receptor antagonists have been used in poly-trauma, burns and head and spinal injuries, as well as on intensive care units, for the prevention of acute gastric stress ulcers. Methods We prospectively studied the use of prophylactic PPIs in with femoral neck fracture patients, gathering data on all acute gastric ulcer complications, including coffee-ground vomiting, malena and haematemesis. We then implemented a treatment protocol in which all patients were given prophylactic PPIs, again prospectively collecting all data. Results Five hundred and fifteen patients were included. Prior to prophylactic PPI, 15% of patients developed gastric stress ulcer complications, with 3% requiring acute intervention with oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD), 5% requiring transfusions and 4% experiencing surgical delays. All patients had delayed discharges. Following PPI implementation, no patients developed gastric stress ulcer complications. Conclusions Femoral neck fracture patients create a substantial workload for orthopaedic units. The increasingly elderly population often have comorbidities, and concomitantly use medications with gastrointestinal side effects. This, combined with the stress of a fracture and preoperative starvation periods increases the risk of gastric ulcers. Here, the use of prophylactic PPIs statistically reduced the incidence of gastric stress ulcers in patients with femoral neck fractures, resulting in fewer surgical delays, reduced length of hospital stay and reduced stress ulcer-related mortality.