Sociedade Portuguesa de Cuidados Intensivos guidelines for stress ulcer prophylaxis in the intensive care unit

ABSTRACT Critically ill patients are at risk of developing stress ulcers in the upper digestive tract. Agents that suppress gastric acid are commonly prescribed to reduce the incidence of clinically important stress ulcer-related gastrointestinal bleeding. However, the indiscriminate use of stress ulcer prophylaxis in all patients admitted to the intensive care unit is not warranted and can have potential adverse clinical effects and cost implications. The present guidelines from the Sociedade Portuguesa de Cuidados Intensivos summarizes the current evidence and gives six clinical statements and an algorithm aiming to provide a standardized prescribing policy for the use of stress ulcer prophylaxis in the intensive care unit.