Haemetemesis is the vomiting of blood from the stomach. It is a symptom of an underlying disease condition. Blood in vomiting results from bleeding from the anywhere in the upper part of the digestive tract, the oesophagus (food pipe), stomach or upper intestine. This blood may pass down the intestine also and present later as black, tarry stools.
If a person begins to vomit blood, a serious condition known as hematemesis may be indicated. Hematemesis is a very dangerous condition in which a person bleeds internally, and vomits as a result. This condition requires immediate attention by a qualified physician. You need to consider this an emergency. It is very hard to tell if this is a life-threatening condition.
What causes haematemesis?
- Bleeding ulcers
- Gastric or intestinal varices
- Tumors in the stomach or esophagus
- Radiation exposure
- Hemorrhagic fever
The patient should be hospitalised. The aim of the treatment is to treat the underlying cause. In case of massive haematemesis, the treatment may include administering intravenous fluids or blood transfusions. Antacids may be prescribed to decrease the stomach acid.
How is hematemesis treated?
• Medicine may be given to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. This may help if your hematemesis is caused by an ulcer. You may also need medicine to prevent blood flow to an injury or tear.
• An angiogram is done to look for and stop bleeding from an artery. Contrast liquid is injected into an artery and x-rays of your blood flow are taken. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
• A blood transfusion may be needed if you lose a large amount of blood.