Saturday, April 14, 2007

NCLEX TOPIC: Mallory-Weiss tear

What is it?

A tear in the mucous membrane where the esophagus connects to the stomach, which causes bleeding.

How is it caused?

Mallory-Weiss tears are usually caused by forceful or long-term vomiting or coughing but may also be caused by epileptic convulsions.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Vomiting bright red blood or passing blood in the stool.

What diagnostic tests are performed?

A EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) will show a tear with bleeding.

What type of treatment is required?

The tear usually heals in about 10 days without special treatment. Surgery is rarely required. The patient may be prescribed antacids, such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. If blood loss has been great, blood transfusions may be necessary.

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