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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Is blood in urine a cause for concern?

Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2900 Questions

Posted on Fri, 27 Jul 2018 in Urinary and Bladder Problems
Question: I am a 70 year old female and I have blood in my urine. Is this an emergency?

Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. Schanz,

If there is a lot of blood, such as XXXXXXX bright red blood, then yes, you should go to the ER now.

If it is a smaller amount of blood, then you can wait until tomorrow to call and see your doctor. Or, you can go in to an urgent care clinic today and have a urinalysis done.

If you are also having bladder pain, flank pain, fever, or nausea, then again, yes, you must go in now.

Here are a few possibilities of what might be going on:
1. If the doctor prescribed an antibiotic but did not send the urine to a lab for culture and sensitivity testing, then it's possible the infection you had may have been partially resistant to the antibiotic you were empirically given. So most of the infection may have been cleared by that antibiotic, but some bacteria remained and has reestablished an infection.
2. There may be a urinary tract stone.
3. There may be other causes for the bleeding such as irritation of the urethra, or a kidney problem.
4. The previous UTI may have completely resolved and you may have a brand new one.

My recommendation would be to go to an urgent care clinic where they can at least get a look at your urine. There they can do a "dip urinalysis" immediately which can give an idea of if there is an infection. Make sure, though, that they send the urine for a full urinalysis and a culture and sensitivity test.

They can also do an X-ray if there is a suspicion for a stone. If a stone has calcium in it (majority do), it can show up on x-ray.

If you go to an urgent care clinic, I strongly recommend NOT touching your eyes or nose until you get home and thoroughly wash your hands (for a full minute) with soap. And alcohol things you may have handled while there such as a cell phone. Touching contaminated surfaces and then your eyes or nose is a significant way influenza and other viral illnesses are transferred.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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