Hemorrhage is active bleeding, in which blood escapes from the blood vessels, either into the internal organs and tissues or outside of the body. It may be caused by trauma, vascular disease, clotting disorders, or other diseases. Virtually any organ may hemorrhage, but common locations for internal hemorrhaging include the brain, stomach, oral cavity, small and large intestines, and abdominal cavities. When it is uncontrollable, a hemorrhage can become a medical emergency. Symptoms depend on the size, rate, and location of the bleeding, but at times, certain hemorrhages may be asymptomatic and undetected. It is usually treated by compression of the vessel, closure of the site of leakage, enhancement of clotting mechanisms, or removal of the inciting factor. These actions may require local compression, use of selected medications, or surgical intervention.
References and Readings
- Cornwell, E. E. (2004). Initial approach to trauma. In J. E. Tintinalli, G. D. Kelen, J. S. Stapczynski, O. J. Ma, & D. M. Cline (Eds.), Emergency medicine: A comprehensive study guide (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Chap. 251.Google Scholar