December 10th 2007
Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a common medical emergency that continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. It requires rapid and appropriate intervention to control the associated hemodynamic instability and prevent continued or recurrent bleeding. Etiology is the key to prognosis. Lower gastrointestinal bleeding usually ceases spontaneously but may also result in hemodynamic instability or symptomatic anemia. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of upper versus lower gastrointestinal bleeding is crucial for prompt and appropriate treatment.