Hematemesis occurs when the body ejects blood from the stomach by vomiting, or when blood appears in the vomit. Although alarming, vomiting blood is not always an emergency. It can be indicative of a number of conditions or may be the result of irritation to the throat or another part of the digestive tract. Even so, if you notice blood in your vomit, it is best to seek medical attention to rule out any serious causes.

1. When should I call 9-11?

Although vomiting blood is not always an emergency, in some cases, the presence of blood in the vomit warrants a call to 9-1-1 and a trip to the emergency department. If you’ve vomited more than 500 cc of blood, which is the equivalent of a small cup, you should call 9-1-1 immediately. It’s also important to seek emergency medical care if blood in the vomit is accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, blurred vision, confusion, severe pain, fainting, or changes in the heartbeat.

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