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Rectal Bleeding (cont.)

Rectal Bleeding Follow-up

Follow-up of treatment for rectal bleeding, especially if there are causes that resulted in heavy bleeding is important.

  • See the doctor as scheduled.
  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • Any signs of continued rectal bleeding should be watched closely and will likely require re-evaluation.

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.


Penner, R.M. BSc, MD, FRCPC, MSc, et al. "Patient information: Blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) in adults (Beyond the Basics)." UpToDate. Aut 19, 2013.

Kitagawa, S. MD. et al. "Intussusception in Children." UpToDate Apr 6, 2015

Last Editorial Review: 7/24/2015

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