The problem of diagnosis and treatment of acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage in patients 65 years of age or older is assuming greater importance as an increasing proportion of the population lives beyond the sixth decade. The purpose of this communication is to analyze our experience in this group relative to the causes of bleeding and the results of treatment, which indicate that a vigorous and optimistic surgical approach can be achieved with an acceptable risk.
We have reviewed the case records of 92 patients 65 years of age or older who were admitted to the Lincoln Hospital during 1954 to 1958 with acute upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage manifested by hematemesis or melena, or both. A positive final diagnosis was established in 79 patients of this group. Thirteen patients were classified as unknown. Among the 13 "unknown" patients a presumptive diagnosis of benign etiology was made in 7, carcinoma of the stomach