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What do I need to know about caring for someone with upper GI bleeding?

Caring for someone experiencing upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding starts with getting them to the doctor. Your loved one may be weak or even in shock depending on the amount of blood lost. If a physical examination and blood and stool tests don't help the doctor to determine the cause of bleeding, there are some procedures that may have to be performed. You may need to see that your family member is ready for those more extensive proceedings. Some, like an endoscopy, may mean that no food can be eaten for several hours before the test. Others may involve drinking special liquids, which will either clean out the digestive tract or make it more visible in x-ray procedures.

After the cause of the upper GI bleeding has been determined, you can then help care for your family member in treating that condition by seeing that the doctor's orders are followed. Any medications must be taken as directed, or a special diet may be in order. Plus, you may have to be sure that any additional tests and treatments are handled to prevent any further flare-ups that may cause upper GI bleeding.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.