Coffee ground vomitus
The color of vomited blood varies depending on the amount of time the blood has been in the gastrointestinal system. If there is a delay in vo...

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

Definition

Coffee ground vomitus is vomit that looks like coffee grounds, due to the presence of coagulated blood.

Alternative Names

Vomit contains coffee grounds, vomiting blood – coffee ground, vomiting coffee-ground like material, coffee ground emesis.

Synopsis

The color of vomited blood varies depending on the amount of time the blood has been in the gastrointestinal system. If there is a delay in vomiting, blood will appear dark red, brown or black and precipitated blood clots produce the appearance of coffee ground like material. Gastrointestinal bleeding is always a serious concern warranting prompt medical attention. Be sure to note the time vomited, the amount vomited and any precipitating events. If possible, take a sample of the coffee ground emesis to the clinician for further testing to determine the presence or absence of vomiting.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Bleeding esophageal varices
  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Christmas disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Ebola disease
  • Gastritis
  • GERD
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Liver cancer
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Stomach ulcer
  • Yellow fever
  • Aspirin overdose

Diagnosis and Treatments

A comprehensive evaluation by a physician is needed whenever there is evidence of gastrointestinal bleeding, as is the case with coffee ground vomitus. Treatment will depend on accompanying symptoms and the diagnosis. Diagnostic studies might include upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, x-rays, blood tests, barium studies, liver function studies, fecal occult blood testing and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Call your provider:

Report coffee ground vomitus to your doctor immediately.

Call 911:

If there is vomiting of large quantities of coffee ground like material, accompanied by:

  • Pallor
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Bright red blood
  • Large clots
  • Severe abdominal pain

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: November 19, 2007
Last Updated: November 30, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools