Hematemesis means vomiting blood. You may vomit blood along with your stomach contents, or blood alone. It may be fresh and bright red, or older, darker and coagulated, like coffee grounds. Hematemesis is a sign of internal bleeding from the upper portion of your digestive tract — the esophagus, stomach and first portion of your small intestine called the duodenum. If you’re vomiting blood, you should seek medical attention right away.
Blood in your vomit is never normal. It’s important to report to the gastroenterology department at your nearest hospital in case of hematemesis
Vomiting itself is unlikely to cause death, but severe blood loss can. If you’re bleeding a lot, you’re at risk of going into hypovolemic shock, which can cause organ failure and death. Fortunately, this is a rare event. But if you’re vomiting a lot of blood, you should seek treatment right away. You may need treatment beyond just stopping the bleeding.
In general, vomiting blood is a sign of bleeding inside your upper GI tract. Your upper GI includes your esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It’s possible to vomit blood if you swallow it due to a nosebleed or mouth bleed. But if you haven’t swallowed blood, it’s coming from inside your upper digestive system. Bright red blood is fresh and indicates an active bleed, which might be heavier and more urgent. Coffee ground vomit — blood that looks brown and lumpy — is older blood. It may indicate a slower bleed or one that has stopped. It usually takes a significant amount of bleeding to trigger vomiting.
Conditions that most commonly cause hematemesis include:
Other possible causes include:
Healthcare providers can stop active internal bleeding in several ways. This will be their first concern when you are vomiting blood. However, if your bleeding is caused by a chronic condition, that might be harder to cure. It’s possible to have recurring hematemesis if the underlying condition isn’t fixed.
Hematemesis is always treated as an emergency. When you arrive, your healthcare team will assess your condition to find out what kind of immediate support you need. If you show signs of severe blood loss, they will treat this first with IV fluids, blood transfusions and oxygen support if necessary. These steps are referred to as resuscitation.
After resuscitation, you will require a upper GI endoscopy followed by a CT abdomen if needed to find the source of bleeding. Rarely surgical intervention may also be needed
Seek medical attention immediately if you’re vomiting blood.
Dr. Sawan Bhopanna is a reputed and the best gastroenterologist doctor in West Delhi. He is known for being an expert in Jaundice Treatment and Hematemesis treatment. He also treats all liver related disease like abdominal pain treatment, gastrointestinal bleeding, pancreatitis treatment, and constipation treatment.