Crying blood: a rare symptom, a medical emergency

Crying blood: a rare symptom, a medical emergency

Vomiting blood is quite rare. Although this symptom can be linked to minor causes, it is most often associated with serious pathologies. This is a medical emergency that requires a medical consultation.


Vomiting blood is the regurgitation of stomach contents mixed with blood or blood alone. Its color can be bright red, dark gnawing or even brownish (it is then old digested blood). Clots can also be part of the regurgitated contents.

Vomiting blood is a medical emergency, especially if this symptom is associated with

  • dizziness ;
  • cold sweats;
  • pallor;
  • difficult breathing;
  • severe abdominal pain;
  • or if the quantity of vomited blood is important.

In these cases, it is necessary to go to the emergency room or call the emergency services. Note that vomiting blood of digestive origin is called hematemesis.

The causes

Vomiting blood may be a sign of a minor medical condition, such as:

  • swallowing blood;
  • a tear in the esophagus, itself caused by a chronic cough;
  • nosebleed;
  • or irritation of the esophagus.

But in many cases, vomiting blood is a symptom of a more pesky condition. These include:

  • gastric ulcer (stomach ulcer);
  • inflammation of the stomach (gastritis);
  • inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis);
  • alcoholic hepatitis, ie damage to the liver secondary to chronic alcohol poisoning;
  • cirrhosis of the liver;
  • gastroenteritis;
  • acute alcohol poisoning;
  • rupture of esophageal varices;
  • blood clotting disorders;
  • a defect or rupture in the blood vessels of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • or a tumor of the mouth, throat, esophagus or stomach.

Evolution and possible complications

If not taken care of quickly, vomiting blood can cause complications. Let us quote for example:

  • suffocation;
  • anemia, ie a deficiency in red blood cells;
  • breathing difficulties;
  • cooling of the body;
  • dizziness ;
  • visual disturbances;
  • a tear in the small blood vessels in the throat;
  • or a drop in blood pressure, or even a coma.

Treatment and prevention: what solutions?

To establish his diagnosis, the doctor may do an imaging test to visualize the inside of the body, do an endoscopy (introduction of an endoscope) eso-gastro-duodenal to specify the location of the bleeding.

The treatment to be prescribed to overcome vomiting of blood depends on the cause:

  • taking specific drugs (antiulcer, antihistamines, proton pump inhibitors, etc.) to reduce gastric ulcer;
  • balloon placement during endoscopy, to control bleeding mechanically in the event of ruptured blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract;
  • or taking anticoagulants.

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