Hematemesis and Vomiting Blood

Mouth | Gastroenterology | Hematemesis and Vomiting Blood (Symptom)


Blood in the vomit or hematemesiscan can be due to minor health problems and older. It may be minimal or great in quantity. Vomiting of blood should be evaluated by a health professional. When a person vomits blood, it may appear bright red or dark red. Blood can be seen alone or it may get mixed with food.


The upper gastrointestinal tract includes the stomach, mouth, throat, esophagus and first part of the small intestine. Blood that is vomited may come from any of these places. For example, vomiting that is very forceful or too long can cause a tear in the small blood vessels of the throat or esophagus, producing streaks of blood in the vomit. The swollen veins in the walls of the lower esophagus, stomach and sometimes, they can begin to bleed. These veins are present in people with severe liver damage.

Other causes may include: bleeding ulcer in the stomach, first part of the small intestine, or esophagus, defects in the blood vessels of the GI tract, swelling, irritation, or inflammation of the esophagus lining (esophagitis) or the stomach lining (gastritis), swallowing blood, for example after a nosebleed, tumors of the stomach or esophagus, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and history of smoking.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Hematemesis is treated as a medical emergency. The most vital distinction is whether there is sufficient blood loss to cause shock or not.