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This is a descriptive term for the passage of old or digested blood from the bottom. It can take the form of dark “tar like” stools, a not uncommon presentation of significant upper GI (stomach oesophagus or duodenal) bleeding or frank old blood and clots – which is commonly a symptom of bleeding from lower the lower gut (colon). The passage of old blood or clots in those with tachycardia (a fast pulse) or low blood pressure may be a sign of very significant bleeding from the upper gut.

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