Table 2

Treatment options given to physicians in the questionnaire

OptionDescription
Supportive measures only (SUPP)Measures that enhance comfort or minimise pain (for example, use of morphine); no intravenous lines; don't group & cross-match; don't investigate cause of bleeding; start intravenous line, cross-match and transfuse; N/G tube, blood tests and x-ray exam
Limited therapeutic effort (LIM) Cimitidine or Ranitidine intravenous; don't transfer to intensive care unit (ICU); don't operate even if the patient continues to bleed
Maximum effort (MAX)LIM plus the following: emergency gastroscopy if necessary; emergency surgery if necessary; don't ventilate (except for surgery)
Maximum effort with ICU (MICU) MAX plus the following: transfer to ICU; if necessary; may insert central lines, etc if necessary