Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Gastrointestinal Bleeding is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

Acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is a common clinical problem that results in substantial morbidity, health-care resource utilization, and costs, especially when it develops in hospitalized patients.1

  • Overt GI bleeding is the passage of fresh or altered blood in emesis or stool.
  • Occult GI bleeding refers to a positive fecal occult blood test (stool guaiac or fecal immunochemical test) or iron deficiency anemia without visible blood in the stool.
  • Obscure GI bleeding consists of GI blood loss of unknown origin that persists or recurs after negative initial endoscopic evaluation.2

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