It's hard to believe that amount of blood one has inside the body.... unit it starts to be expelled from the body.
I had a pt who had a GI bleed... and anyone in healthcare will know the smell that the breakdown of blood creates.... the smell of melena stool.
I was lucky enough that my pt was expelling things fast enough that it wasn't smelling like that. When I got the pt, he had had several procedures in an attempt to stop the bleeding internally. We thought it successful.... during my shift he only had two BMs - and it didn't have the clots and bulk that it did before. I thought I was pretty fortunate. I also thought the procedure successful.
Until the next shift when I ended up cleaning up six BMs. Again, no real melena smell. I figure where they thought that they had an issue and thought that they had fixed was what would stop the bleeding. Clearly though they did not... based on what the stool looked like, I imagine it to be small bowel, but close to the large bowel. Because it's not like it was bright frank blood but it was broken down some - but clearly it wasn't in his bowels long enough for the blood to be broken down to the point where the enzymes interacted with it and caused the typical melena smell.
Another scope another time. Hopefully this time it was successful.
For all the bleeding this poor soul has undertaken, he ended up with 14+ units of PRBCs.... his blood volume replaced twice+ over. Hard to believe, but hey, the human body is miraculous.