Prevalence of Helicobacter Pylori in Gastric Fluid in the Surgical Patient
Uniformed of the Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that infects the human gastric mucosa. It is well established as a primary factor in peptic ulcer disease and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of gastric adenocarcinoma. Surveys consistently show that one half of the world s population carry H. pylori. H. pylori associated peptic ulcer disease afflicts approximately 10 of the U.S. population at some point during their lives. Once established, most infections last for decades and rarely resolve spontaneously. In this descriptive study gastric fluid was collected from 60 asymptomatic patients about to undergo general anesthesia. Gastric fluid was obtained and cultured to determine the presence of H. pylori. Ten percent cultured positive for the presence of H. pylori. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics. Results indicated that culturing gastric juice for H. pylori is a simple, sensitive, and specific method to establish its presence and that nasogastric aspirates and tubes should be considered as potentially infectious. The observed 10 positivity for H. pylori within a group of 60 randomly selected military beneficiaries provides insight into the U.S. military population. The prevalence of H. pylori amongst military members is particularly interesting. The highly mobile nature and frequent travel puts the American soldier at increased risk for acquisition of this infection. Nurse practitioners are especially well suited to provide early diagnosis and treatment of infections such as H. pylori while implementing health maintenance and promotion efforts in order to decrease susceptibility. This novel approach to obtaining cultures for H. pylori is a cost effective and practical alternative for establishing the presence of this infection.