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Articles  |   August 1992
A new perspective on stress ulcer prophylaxis
Article Information
Articles   |   August 1992
A new perspective on stress ulcer prophylaxis
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1992, Vol. 92, 1026. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1992.92.8.1026
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, August 1992, Vol. 92, 1026. doi:10.7556/jaoa.1992.92.8.1026
Abstract

Gastric acid suppression by use of either antacids or histamine H2-receptor antagonist therapy is the mainstay of stress ulcer prophylaxis. Available evidence indicating an antimicrobial role for gastric acid calls for the reevaluation of gastric acid suppression. A pH of greater than 4.0 leads to bacterial overgrowth and colonization of the upper gastrointestinal tract which has been associated with nosocomial pneumonia, bacterial translocation from the gut, systemic sepsis, and multiple-organ failure. The availability of alternative therapy should discourage the routine use of acid-suppression therapy in the critically ill patient.