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Hematemesis: causes and treatment of vomiting blood

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Hematemesis, or vomiting blood, is a manifestation of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, that is, one that is located in the esophagus, stomach or duodenum. The appearance of the blood varies according to the origin of the hemorrhage, having a wide range of colors, which includes that which is bright red (of esophageal origin) to that which is dark brown (of duodenal origin). It is important to make the differential diagnosis with hemoptysis, an oral bleeding that is a consequence of bleeding in the lungs or bronchi.

Any manifestation of bleeding is an emergency that has to be controlled in the shortest possible time, so it is recommended that you go to the nearest hospital. To learn more about Hematemesis: Causes and Treatment of Vomiting Blood , keep reading this article from FastlyHeal .

Causes of vomiting blood

Hematemesis is a manifestation of digestive bleeding in the upper tract that can have multiple causes , the most important of which are:

  • Peptic ulcer : It is the most frequent cause of vomiting with blood, it refers to a loss in the continuity of the normal tissue that lines the stomach, this can have multiple causes, which includes: Helicobacter pylori infection , prolonged use of NSAIDs (aspirin) or problems with the normal function of the cells that make stomach acid. This disease is easy to diagnose, an endoscopy of the upper digestive tract must be performed.
  • Erosions : Erosions are very similar to ulcers, with the difference that they only involve the most superficial layers of stomach tissue. They may be due to prolonged use of NSAIDs or alcohol.
  • Mallory-Weiss syndrome : It refers to a tear in the tissue that covers the esophagus, since the normal stomach content is acidic, when there is a prolonged action of efforts to cough or vomit, this secretion can go up to the esophagus and damage it, what is going to produce bleeding.
  • Esophageal varices : Esophageal varices are a consequence of portal hypertension, an increase in the pressure of the veins that reach the liver, the main cause is liver cirrhosis. Liver cirrhosis refers to a disease that results in a change in the normal liver architecture for a more rigid one, this rigidity will decrease the capacity for venous flow, which will lead to congestion of other vessels with which there is communication , among these, the esophageal vessels. When these vessels break, due to food or trauma, significant bleeding occurs that can be life-threatening.
  • Blood in vomit can also be due to bleeding in the nasal cavity that first passes into the throat and then is vomited.

Diagnosis of hematemesis

The diagnosis of the cause of hematemesis must be made in the shortest possible time, since vomiting with blood can seriously compromise life . Some of the most important aspects to consider are:

  • The time of evolution.
  • The amount of blood expelled.
  • Symptoms that have occurred before vomiting blood.
  • The use of some medications, such as NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs).
  • History of other diseases, such as liver cirrhosis , high blood pressure, kidney or heart failure, among others.

Treatment of hematemesis

Hematemesis is a medical emergency and must be treated in the shortest possible time. Since it has multiple and very different causes, the treatment as a base has to be focused on stopping the bleeding . The clinical urgency depends on the cause: Hematemesis secondary to esophageal varices is much more serious than that caused by erosion.

Depending on the amount of blood that has been lost, it is possible or not to carry out blood transfusions and / or concentrated red blood cells. Long-term treatment may be needed to control bleeding, which may be decreased use of NSAIDs or decreased alcohol consumption.

If bloody vomiting occurs together with confusion, nausea, fainting, rapid shallow breathing and cold and clammy extremities, it is necessary to take the affected person in the shortest possible time, because the chances of death with these symptoms are very high. If you have vomit with blood, or someone you know, you should go to the emergency unit of the nearest hospital, this is a condition that should be treated as soon as possible.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hematemesis: causes and treatment of vomiting blood , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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