This guideline covers how upper gastrointestinal bleeding can be effectively managed in adults and young people aged 16 years and older. It aims to identify which diagnostic and therapeutic steps are useful so hospitals can develop a structure in which clinical teams can deliver an optimum service for people who develop this condition.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People over 16 with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the evidence in August 2016. We found nothing new that affects the recommendations in this guideline. We added a footnote to recommendation 1.7.1 covering the licensing limitations of H2-receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors for primary prevention of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in acutely ill patients.

Next review: 2018

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline was previously called acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding: management.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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