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The first step in the treatment of GI bleeding is to locate the source of the bleeding. Patients who have lost significant amounts of blood are transfused with blood.
Next, an endoscopy is used to locate the source of the bleeding. Upper endoscopy is generally performed first, and if no bleeding source is located, then lower endoscopy is performed. During an endoscopy, the patient is usually sedated but awake.
Review Date 1/14/2021
Updated by: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.