The Symptoms of Hemorrhage Of The Stomach

Blood vomited in considerable quantities; blood not frothy, and of dark color; blood usually in clots, and mixed with portions of food; uneasiness or other symptoms pointing to the stomach and bowels.

Vomiting of blood is the most characteristic symptom. Usually blood coming from the stomach is mixed with portions of food, which is also a means of distinguishing it from hemorrhage of the lungs. Notwithstanding the apparent loss of immense quantities of blood in hemorrhage from the stomach, the majority of patients recover under the employment of proper measures.

The Causes of Hemorrhage Of The Stomach

Hemorrhage of the stomach is most commonly caused by the rupture of blood-vessels, due to ulceration. In chronic ulcer of the stomach, and cancer, this is a prominent symptom. It may also be caused by intense congestion due to pressure, and by mechanical obstruction of the circulation in the chest, caused by disease of the lungs and pleura. It is also an occasional symptom in scurvy.

The Treatment of Hemorrhage Of The Stomach

The patient should be given absolute rest. No food should be taken for at least forty-eight hours, and in severe cases the stomach must be given entire rest for some time, at least until the symptoms of bleeding have entirely disappeared, the patient being nourished in the meantime by nutritive enemata. The best measure of treatment is cold. It should be applied externally by means of ice compresses; internally, by giving the patient small pieces of ice to swallow, or frequent sips of iced water. The patient may also be allowed to take lime-water or the serum of milk which has been coagulated with lime. Very little good generally comes from the use of astringents, however, as they are almost invariably vomited as soon as swallowed. Bleeding and the use of morphia are dangerous measures to employ, and their adoption in this disease has often proved fatal. The direction frequently given to purge the patient directly after hemorrhage is a very mischievous one, as it will be likely to bring on a relapse.

All the good effects supposed to be derived from bleeding may be obtained by the use of Junod's boot, elsewhere described, or by ligating one or both limbs near the body, by means of which a quantity of blood may be temporarily removed from the circulation. Ligation, of course, should not be too severe, and should not be maintained sufficiently long to produce complete stagnation of the circulation in the limbs. In extreme cases, where the patient has lost so much blood that death is imminent, the chances for life may sometimes be increased by the practice of the transfusion of blood, elsewhere described. Hemorrhage from the stomach should not bo mistaken for bleeding from other organs, as from the lungs or air-passages. Not infrequently blood is vomited which had been swallowed during bleeding at the nose, sometimes during sleep.