Stress ulcer prophylaxis for critically ill children: Routine use needs to be re-examined

An Pediatr (Barc). 2021 Mar 5:S1695-4033(21)00130-2. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2020.12.023. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Stress ulcer prophylaxis (SUP) is commonly used in Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs). However, strong evidence for this practice is lacking and there is a dire need for paediatric randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Our aim was to assess the usefulness of SUP with omeprazole in critically ill children.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a randomized, controlled open-label trial, including 144 children admitted into a PICU with a paediatric Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (pSOFA) score of less than 16. We randomly allocated patients to SUP with omeprazole or no SUP. The primary outcome was development of upper gastrointestinal bleeding or nosocomial infection.

RESULTS: The incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding was 27.1%, but clinically significant bleeding developed in only 5.6% of patients. We did not find a significant difference in the incidence of bleeding between the prophylaxis and control groups (27.8 vs. 26.4%; p = 0.85). We also did not find a significant difference between the group in the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (9.6 vs. 8.3%; p = 0.77). The incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) was higher in the prophylaxis group compared to the control group (30.6% vs. 12.5%; p = 0.014). None of the patients developed Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea. We did not find significant differences in mortality, length of PICU stay or duration of mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation was an independent predictor of bleeding (OR 6.4; 95% CI, 2.73-14.9).

CONCLUSION: In PICU patients with mild to moderate organ dysfunction, omeprazole does not seem to be useful for prevention of gastrointestinal bleeding while at the same time increasing the risk of CLABSI. Thus, we recommend restricting SUP to mechanically ventilated children.

PMID:33685825 | DOI:10.1016/j.anpedi.2020.12.023