Knowledge of risk factors and effectiveness of treatment are instrumental when implementing appropriate prophylaxis for stress ulcers. This article presents the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and medical management of stress-related mucosal disease.

Optimal management of stress ulcer prophylaxis requires a concerted effort among all members of the healthcare team. This article presents an overview of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of stress-related mucosal disease (SRMD), medical management of SRMD, and the role of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses in improving the care of patients at risk for SRMD.

SRMD encompasses 2 types of mucosal lesions: (1) stress-related injury, which is diffuse, superficial mucosal damage, and (2) discrete stress ulcers, which are deep focal lesions that penetrate the submucosa, most often in the body and fundal parts of the stomach.1 Stress-induced lesions that are preceded by mucosal congestion often lead to bleeding in focal areas and then eventually affect multiple areas of the...

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