World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000540173
Reproduction Date:

Title: Hematemesis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gastrointestinal bleeding, Upper gastrointestinal bleeding, Bleeding, Portal hypertensive gastropathy, Vomiting
Collection: Bleeding, Symptoms, Vomiting
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Classification and external resources
ICD-10 K92.0
ICD-9-CM 578.0
DiseasesDB 30745
MedlinePlus 003118
eMedicine med/3565
MeSH C23.550.414.788.400

Hematemesis or haematemesis is the vomiting of blood.[1]:308 The source is generally the upper gastrointestinal tract, typically above the suspensory muscle of duodenum.[1]:308 Patients can easily confuse it with hemoptysis (coughing up blood), although the latter is more common. Hematemesis "is always an important sign".[1]:309 Vomited blood volumes in excess of 5.5 litres could be life-threatening.[1]:309


  • Causes 1
  • Management 2
    • Minimal blood loss 2.1
    • Significant blood loss 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Causes can be:


Hematemesis is treated as a medical emergency. The most vital distinction is whether there is blood loss sufficient to cause shock.

Minimal blood loss

If this is not the case, the patient is generally administered a proton pump inhibitor (e.g. omeprazole), given blood transfusions (if the level of hemoglobin is extremely low, that is less than 8.0 g/dL or 4.5–5.0 mmol/L), and kept NPO, which stands for "nil per os" (Latin for "nothing by mouth", or no eating or drinking) until endoscopy can be arranged. Adequate venous access (large-bore cannulas or a central venous catheter) is generally obtained in case the patient suffers a further bleed and becomes unstable.

Significant blood loss

In a "hemodynamically significant" case of hematemesis, that is hypovolemic shock, resuscitation is an immediate priority to prevent cardiac arrest. Fluids and/or blood is administered, preferably by central venous catheter, and the patient is prepared for emergency endoscopy, which is typically done in theatres. Surgical opinion is usually sought in case the source of bleeding cannot be identified endoscopically, and laparotomy is necessary. Securing the airway is a top priority in hematemesis patients, especially those with a disturbed conscious level (hepatic encephalopathy in esophageal varices patient.) A cuffed endotracheal tube could be a life saving choice.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Interpreting Signs and Symptoms. Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2007.  

External links

  • "Vomiting blood". Medical Encyclopedia. University of Maryland Medical Center. 2011. 
  • MedlinePlus Encyclopedia Vomiting blood
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.