Blood in Stool
- Blood-colored material mixed in with the stool, on the surface or passed separately
- Blood in the stools is usually bright red
- Blood from bleeding in the stomach comes out tar-black
- Main Cause: anal fissure
See More Appropriate Topic
- If also has diarrhea, see Diarrhea
Call 911 Now (your child may need an ambulance) If
- Fainted or too weak to stand following large blood loss
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
- Large amount of blood, blood alone without any stool or the toilet water turned red
- Tarry or black-colored stool
- Pink- or tea-colored urine
- Vomited blood
- Abdominal pain or crying also present
- Skin bruises not caused by an injury
- Age < 12 weeks
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 and 4) If
- Blood in the stools, but none of the symptoms described above (probably anal fissure) (NOTE: Try to bring in a sample of the “blood” for testing)
Parent Care at Home If
- Anal fissure suspected (Bright red blood and only a few streaks on the surface of BM or toilet tissue)
- Anal fissure and constipation previously diagnosed
Home Care Advice for Anal Fissure (Pending Talking with Your Doctor)
- Definition: An anal fissure is the #1 cause of blood in stools
- The blood is bright red, but only a few streaks or flecks are present
- All the blood is on the surface of the stool or on the toilet tissue after wiping
- Usually follows passage of a large or hard bowel movement (BM)
- You may see a shallow tear at 6 or 12 o’clock on the anus
- Warm Saline Baths: Give warm saline baths for 20 minutes 3 times per day to cleanse the area and to promote healing. Add 2 oz. of table salt or baking soda to a tub of warm water.
- Ointments: If the anus seems irritated, apply 1% hydrocortisone ointment 3 times per day to help healing.
- High-Fiber Diet: Offer a nonconstipating diet. Increase fruits, vegetables and grains (fiber). Reduce milk products. If Constipation is definitely the cause, see that topic.
- Expected Course: Anal fissures usually heal up quickly with home treatment.
- Call Your Doctor If
- Bleeding increases in amount
- The bleeding recurs less then 2 times after treatment begins.
- Your child becomes worse or develops any of the “Call Your Doctor” symptoms