October 1980

Hematemesis and Melena in Infant

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Hadassah University Hospital Mount Scopus, Jerusalem Israel

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(10):994-995. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130220070024

Gastrointestinal (GI) hemmorrhage may be a serious symptom but in the newborn infant hematemesis and melena may simply be due to maternal blood swallowed during birth.1-4 We report a case of apparently serious intestinal bleeding in a 10-week-old infant that turned out to be innocent.

Report of a Case.—The baby was born normally at term weighing 3,200 g and had no problems. She was breast-fed from birth and additional cow's milk and orange juice had been introduced. At the age of 10 weeks, she was referred to our pediatric emergency room by her attending physician because of melena and coffee-ground vomiting during a period of several hours. Apart from some reduction in appetite, she was otherwise behaving normally. On examination, she was surprisingly healthy with no pallor, tachycardia, or any other abnormal physical signs. Nevertheless, while being examined she vomited a small amount of coffee-ground material and passed