Antibiotic use reduces mortality rate in cirrhosis patients hospitalized for upper gastrointestinal bleeding: 4 insights

A study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that the use of prophylactic antibiotics is an effective treatment for patients with cirrhosis hospitalized for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Researchers studied 6,451 patients with cirrhosis in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system hospitalized for UGIB from 2005 to 2013.

They defined "timely administration of antibiotics" as administering antibiotics from 8 hours before admission through 48 hours afterward.

Here are four insights:

1. Timely administration of antibiotics occurred during 48.6 percent of admissions, increasing from 30.6 percent of admissions in 2005 to 58.1 percent in 2013.

2. Timely administration of antibiotics was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the 30-day mortality rate.

3. While the proportion of patients with cirrhosis hospitalized for UGIB receiving timely antibiotics nearly doubled from 2005 to 2013, many patients, particularly those with less-advanced cirrhosis, did not receive this intervention.

4. Researchers concluded "targeted efforts are needed to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics among patients with cirrhosis and UGIB."

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