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Rectal Bleeding (cont.)

Rectal Bleeding Prognosis

The majority of people with significant rectal bleeding are elderly. Members of this population commonly have many other medical problems. As a result, they tend to suffer increased rates of illness and death.

  • In recent years, death from rectal bleeding has significantly decreased. This reduction is due to more efficient emergency departments, recent advances in procedures, and evolving surgical management.
  • The majority of complications from rectal bleeding occur when large amounts of blood have been lost.
  • The areas causing acute rectal bleeding may rebleed. This underscores the need for making a definitive diagnosis and in discovering the source of the bleeding so that the corrective actions may be made.
  • Rectal bleeding with symptoms of weakness, dizziness, or fainting is associated with at least 1 liter (2 pints)  of blood lost is a medical emergency. Seek medical care immediately. Sudden loss of 2 liters (4.2 pints) or more of blood can be dangerous, if not fatal.
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