Health test developed in Glasgow ‘leads the world’

A consultant gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary led the study. Picture: Stephen Mansfield/TSPL
A consultant gastroenterologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary led the study. Picture: Stephen Mansfield/TSPL
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Glasgow is leading the world on managing patients with gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, according to a study.

A scoring system developed in the city to determine whether hospital admission is required was found to be the best way to assess and manage patients, the British Medical Journal said.

The Glasgow Blatchford Score (GBS) was developed in 2000 by now retired Glasgow public health consultant Dr Oliver Blatchford. It takes into account a patient’s description of symptoms, pulse and blood pressure, as well as two blood tests which can be carried out in an hour.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it is being used in hospitals around the world and helping focus treatment on the most serious causes of the problem.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary consultant gastroenterologist Dr Adrian Stanley led the study.

He said: “It is common for patients to present to our emergency departments with upper GI bleeding, resulting from stomach ulcers or bleeding vessels in the GI tract.

“Calculating their GBS on presentation allows us to target our management of these patients better. We can identify those at very low risk of poor outcome who don’t need to be admitted to hospital, allowing us to focus on the more seriously ill patients who need to be admitted for transfusion and urgent endoscopy.

“We carried out a 12-month study into the effectiveness of five risk scoring systems, looking at more than 3,000 patients presenting to six large international hospitals - the largest prospective study of this condition ever undertaken.

“We found that out of the five risk scores we compared, the GBS was superior to the English, Italian and American risk scores in their ability to predict need for hospital-based intervention and survival in this common medical emergency.

“This is an example of Glasgow clinical research changing practice internationally and is a development which will be of benefit to many patients around the world.”