Haematemesis means the vomiting of blood. Blood brought up from the stomach is generally dark in colour and may have been so far digested as to form small brown granules resembling coﬀee grounds. Vomiting of blood is one of the main symptoms of PEPTIC ULCER, but it may occur in GASTRITIS, from VARICOCOELES in the OESOPHAGUS, or, rarely, in cancer of the stomach. Gastritis caused by an irritant poison, sustained intake of ALCOHOL, or the regular use of certain drugs such as ASPIRIN and NON-STEROIDAL ANTIINFLAMMATORY DRUGS (NSAIDS) may cause bleeding. Blood may also originate from the nose and throat, be swallowed and then vomited. Persistent haematemesis or a sudden severe bleed is a potentially serious medical emergency and the patient should be referred urgently to hospital (see HAEMORRHAGE).
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary