Vomiting of blood or hematemesis refers to blood in your vomit. Blood in vomit can be bright red in color or it may be black or dark brown and appear like coffee grounds.
Blood that is swallowed from a nosebleed or bleeding from the throat may make vomit appear bloody, but real vomiting of blood is more serious and requires immediate medical attention. Vomiting of blood may mean bleeding from your upper gastrointestinal tract.
This type of health problem really needs immediate attention, before resulting to another serious problem. Health is very important so we need to focus on prevention.
You need to see a health expert in case you are experiencing blood in your vomit.
Some types of bleeding from the upper gut are as follows:
- Dark blood – This is often referred to as a ‘coffee ground’ color. This means that the bleeding has been slow and long enough for the blood to be in contact with stomach acid to give blood a dark brown color. Initially, bleeding may not be heavy but it may become heavy later on.
- Melaena – This means that there is old, dark blood in the stools. The stools often have a tar-like consistency. Vomiting blood and having melena means that you had a lot of bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract.
Several symptoms may be present along with vomiting blood. These symptoms include nausea, abdominal discomfort, abdominal pain, dizziness, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, and fainting.
The doctor will ask about your medical history and will conduct some physical exam.
Tests may be conducted which may include the following:
- Radiologic imaging tests such as a CT (CAT) scan and X-ray
- Complete blood count, platelet count and blood coagulation tests
Treatment is dependent on the actual cause of the condition. This may involve treatments with certain medications, blood transfusion, and surgery.