hemorrhage (hĕmˈərĭj) [key], escape of blood from the circulation (arteries, veins, capillaries) to the internal or external tissues. The term is usually applied to a loss of blood that is copious enough to threaten health or life. Slow bleeding may lead to anemia, while the sudden loss of a large amount of blood may cause shock. Hemorrhage from a cerebral artery can be fatal because of interference with brain function. Many diseases and disorders (e.g., hemophilia, hemorrhagic fevers, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, scurvy, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever) as well as childbirth and many injuries can give rise to hemorrhage. Internal hemorrhage may require surgical intervention. See first aid.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.