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Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding (UGIB)

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is a common medical condition which involves the bleeding of gastro intestinal tract which is indicated by vomiting of blood streaks (hematemesis) and excretion of black, tarry stools (melena). This is common among men who are older especially those who have the penchant for alcohol drinking.

The most common cause of the bleeding of the upper gastrointestinal tract is ulcer or peptic ulcer where lacerations occur in the internal surface of the intestines when they hit each other. Other causes of UGIB included the small vascular malformation of the gut (angiodysplasia), an abnormal mass of tissue due to the abnormal proliferation of cells (neoplasms), and Hemorrhage in bile (hemobilia).

The causes for Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding can also be anatomically categorized based their location in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Esophageal causes included Esophageal varices, Esophagitis, cancer, Esophageal ulcers and Mallory-Weiss tear which pertains to a tear in the lining of the upper part of the esophagus. Gastric causes on the other hand included ulcer, cancer, Gastritis, Gastric antral vascular ectasia and Dieulafoy’s lesions. Finally, Duodenal causes included ulcer, Vascular malformation, Hematobilia, bleeding of the pancreas or severe superior mesenteric artery syndrome.

To diagnose the cause of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding, endoscopy procedures are carried to the patient. Patients with high risk signs of bleeding must undertake Proton pump inhibitors. Moreover, Oral iron can be administered.

In the Philippines, most of the leading health care institution has a Gastroenterology and Nutrition department or section, where Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding is treated. This included the University of Philippines General Hospital (UP PGH), St. Lukes Medical Center and the UST (University of Sto. Tomas) hospital.

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