A nurse is caring for a newly admitted patient with a suspected GI bleed. The nurse assesses the patients stool after a bowel movement and notes it to be a tarry-black color. This finding is suggestive of bleeding from what location?

Answer Explanation: Blood shed in sufficient quantities in the upper GI tract will produce a tarry-black color (melena). Blood entering the lower portion of the GI tract or passing rapidly through it will appear bright or dark red. Lower rectal or anal bleeding is suspected if there is streaking of blood on the surface of the stool or if blood is noted on toilet tissue.

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