Articles

Stress ulcer prophylaxis use in critical care units at public hospitals in Johannesburg, South Africa

N Biyase, H Perrie, J Scribante, M Muteba, S Chetty

Abstract


Background. Stress ulcer prophylaxis (SUP) is part of the management of critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs). However, inappropriate use of these drugs has important clinical implications such as ventilator-associated pneumonia and Clostridium difficile-associated gastrointestinal tract infections. The overuse of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) as SUP is a rapidly growing problem globally. 

Objective. To describe the use of SUP in three selected ICUs in Johannesburg, South Africa (SA). 

Methods. A retrospective, descriptive, contextual study design was used. Data were collected from ICU records of adult patients admitted into these units during the study period (1 August 2013 - 31 October 2013). 

Results. A total of 174 patients were included in the study. Of these, 156 were on SUP and only 38.5% (n=60/156) were appropriately treated with SUP according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists guidelines. There was an inappropriate use of SUP in over 50% of those who were treated. The most frequently prescribed SUP was histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) (51.3%; n=80/156), followed by PPIs (30.8%; n=48/156), sucralfate (17.3%; n=27/156), and a combination of PPI and H2RA (0.6%; n=1/156). 

Conclusion. The study demonstrated overuse of SUP. The most commonly used drug for SUP was H2RA and not PPIs. This study demonstrates that the problem of SUP overuse internationally also exists locally. The development of local guidelines may help to improve the practice of SUP in SA.


Authors' affiliations

N Biyase, Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

H Perrie, Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

J Scribante, Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

M Muteba, Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

S Chetty, Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

Southern African Journal of Critical Care 2021;37(1):16-20. DOI:10.7196/SAJCC.2021.v37i1.439

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-03-17
Date published: 2021-03-17

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