Hematuria - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Hematuria - Medical Malpractice
Hematuria is defined as the presence of blood, either grossly or microscopically in the urine. It is usually a sign of something going wrong with the genitourinary system although a bleeding disorder can contribute to getting hematuria without a big problem in the urinary tract system. Hematuria can come from the kidneys, ureters, bladder or urethra. If you have hematuria, you should seek medical attention because some causes of hematuria can be severe. Hematuria is defined as having more than three to five red blood cells per high power field when looked at under the microscope. It can be something you can see as pink or red urine or can look like normal urine if it is mild and can only be picked up using a microscope at the doctor's office.
The main causes of hematuria include a urinary tract infection of the bladder or kidneys, kidney stones or bladder stones, which irritate the lining of these structures and tumours of the bladder or kidneys. Bleeding disorders, such as those you get when you take aspirin, warfarin or Plavix can cause bleeding in the kidneys or bladder. Any kind of cancer of the urinary tract can cause bleeding.
The doctor can diagnose the cause of hematuria by taking a thorough history and doing a thorough physical examination. You can complain of urgency or frequency of urination or you can complain of no symptoms at all besides having blood in the urine. If you have fever and/or chills, you may have a kidney or bladder infection. If you have weight loss and fatigue, you could have kidney or bladder cancer. If you have pain in the flank or in the suprapubic area (where the bladder is), you can have stones in the urinary tract in those locations. The doctor will ask about any herbs or medications you are taking that could contribute to getting hematuria.
Besides a urinalysis, the doctor may do an IVP or intravenous pyelogram, which can look for stones, tumours, cancer or polyps of the urinary tract. He or she will do a rectal examination to look for enlargement or problems with the prostate gland. Urine cultures are obtained for infection. The presence of protein, sugar or sediment in the urine can show whether or not there are problems within the kidneys or with diabetic conditions. Kidney function studies can be done of the blood to show whether or not there is kidney damage. A CT scan can be done of the urinary system to see if there are polyps, stones or tumours. Cystoscopy is a camera test of the bladder that looks for sources of cancer or polyps within the bladder. If a CT scan is used, dye is injected into the body or drunk by the patient in order to identify which parts of the abdomen are involved with the GI system and which parts belong to the genitourinary system. A PSA test should be done to check for enlargement or cancer of the prostate gland.
Treatment for hematuria depends on the cause of the condition. Hematuria is a sign of a disease and not a disease in and of itself. If the disease is caused by a bladder or kidney infection, for example, the treatment involves using antibiotics to clear the infection. If there is a polyp in the bladder, it is removed and looked at carefully under the microscope. Kidney cancers are removed in their entirety and things like chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Quite often, there is no known source found for the hematuria so that the condition is just watched until it resolves spontaneously. The individual with hematuria of unknown origin should refrain from taking aspirin, Plavix or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents that can make bleeding worse. Coumadin should not be taken by those with gross hematuria.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here