Vomiting blood (hematemesis) is a term that refers to vomit that contains a substantial amount of blood. Small streaks or flecks of blood in spit-up material may originate in the teeth, mouth, or throat and are not considered vomiting blood. Vomit blood may be bright red or seem black or dark brown, similar to coffee grounds.
While vomiting blood can be alarming, in certain circumstances, simple triggers may be involved. This includes blood swallowed as a result of a mouth injury or nosebleed.
Associated Symptoms of Vomiting Blood
Blood may vary in color and consistency based on the source and physical location of the bleeding. Blood can range in color from bright red to the appearance of coffee grounds.
Individuals may encounter additional symptoms, which they should discuss with their doctor, depending on the reason of the bleeding. These symptoms include:
These symptoms could be indicative of shock:
- dizziness, feeling faint or fainting
- cool, clammy, pale skin
- a rapid heart rate, anxiety, or agitation
- enlarged pupils
- blurred vision
- rapid, shallow breathing
- reduced urine production
Causes of Vomiting Blood
- A tear (called a Mallory-Weiss tear) in the lining of the esophagus, caused by excessive vomiting
- Swollen veins (varices) in the lower part of the esophagus and stomach. This often happens in people with severe liver damage, including people with long-term alcoholism.
- A bleeding stomach or duodenal ulcer
- Irritation or swelling of the esophagus called esophagitis
- A benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous tumor in the stomach or esophagus
- A severe injury to the abdominal area, as caused by a car accident or blow to the abdomen
- Inflammation of the stomach called gastritis
- Taking too much aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
- A condition called Dieulafoy’s lesion affects an artery in the stomach wall
- Inflammation of the small intestine called duodenitis
- Pancreatic cancer
When To See The Doctor
Vomiting blood is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention. If you observe blood in your vomit or begin vomiting blood, get someone to drive you to the emergency department. It is critical to promptly determine the source of the bleeding and to avoid further blood loss and other problems, including death.
Treatment of Vomiting Blood
Vomiting blood (hematemesis) is typically treatable with certain drugs and surgery.
In extreme cases of hematemesis with a high rate of blood loss, an individual may require a drip or blood transfusion. They may require emergency resuscitation and fluid or blood replacement in life-threatening situations.
The treatment of hematemesis is determined by the etiology of the disorder. Numerous approaches for halting internal bleeding involve the passage of instruments through an endoscope and the closure of an internal wound.