Does coffee-ground looking vomit and fresh blood in vomit both mean bleeding?
Our question this week was:
What is the difference if you see fresh blood vs. coffee grounds in vomit – do they both mean bleeding?
Sarah M, Grove City, Ohio
Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote asking ….what does blood coming from the stomach look like when vomited? If there is bleeding in the stomach, and vomiting occurs immediately – the vomit can have fresh looking blood. If the bleeding occurs and the blood is exposed to digestive enzymes – the blood will become digested and appear as "coffee-grounds". It will look like small specks or flake of black. As the digested blood works it way though the digestive tract – it will appear be eliminated as a tarry black bowel movement.
By the way…
Hematemesis = blood in the vomit
Melana = digested blood in the feces
Hematochezia = fresh blood in the feces
Best of luck!
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