BLEEDING FROM RECTUM
This is a condition that can scare the parents when they see the child passing blood in the stools. The age of the child can be a few months or the child may be 3 – 4 years old. The parents must be observant whenever they see blood in the stools of their child. Certain details are very important to the Pediatric Surgeon who can narrow down the differential diagnosis of the causes for the bleed. One should look for following parameters: The color of the blood – bright red, dark red or blackish red; The consistency of the stool – hard dry, soft and normal, or semi liquid with sticky mucus. Does the child cry when passing stool, after the stool? Is there any mass seen coming out of the rectum during or after the stool passage? A rectal examination by the surgeon will help in ruling out certain possibilities. Very often, detailed history, proper rectal examination is enough to come to a diagnosis of the cause. If, however, these are inadequate to know the reason then other investigations like a Colonoscopy or a Barium Enema are required.
The commonest causes for a rectal bleed:
Thus, in short, Bleeding per rectum in a child below 1 year – run to a Pediatric Surgeon.
If the child is 2 – 3 years - walk to the Pediatric Surgeon and start specific therapy early.
The treatment may be medicines only, or medicines with exercises for a prolapse or medicines with surgery in polyp and intussusception.