Frequently Asked Questions

Acute Hematuria

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What is acute hematuria?

Hematuria is blood in your urine from an injury or medical condition. Acute means the problem starts suddenly, worsens quickly, and lasts a short time. Your urine may be bright red to dark brown.

What other signs and symptoms might I have with acute hematuria?

  • Fever

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Pain or bruising on your lower back or sides

  • Pain when you urinate

  • More urination than usual, or the need to urinate right away

What causes acute hematuria?

Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other causes of acute hematuria:

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Kidney, bladder, or prostate mass

  • Kidney or bladder stones

  • Swollen prostate

  • Kidney disease

  • Abdomen or pelvic injury

  • Intense exercise

What increases my risk for acute hematuria?

  • Tobacco use

  • Age older than 40

  • Work around chemicals or dyes

How is acute hematuria diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you about your signs and symptoms and examine you. He will ask when you first saw a change in the color of your urine. He will ask if you have any medical conditions. He will ask what medicines you are taking. Some medicines can damage your kidneys or increase your risk of bleeding. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about these and other tests you may need:

  • Blood and urine tests: Your healthcare provider will check your urine for signs of an infection that could be causing your symptoms. He will check your blood to learn how well your kidneys are working.

  • X-ray of kidneys, ureters, and bladder: This is also called a KUB. Healthcare providers use these pictures to check for causes of your acute hematuria.

  • Renal ultrasound: This is a test using sound waves to look at your kidneys. Pictures of your kidneys show up on a TV-like screen. A renal ultrasound can show if you have kidney stones, an abscess, or other problems.

  • A CT , or CAT scan, may show abnormal changes or other problems in your abdomen. You may be given contrast liquid before the scan. Tell a healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

How is acute hematuria treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of your acute hematuria. It may go away on without treatment. You may need medicines, such as antibiotics to treat an infection. Other treatments may be needed to treat the cause of your bleeding. Drink clear fluids to help flush the blood from your urinary tract. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about how much fluid to drink. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about the treatment you will need.

When should I follow up with my healthcare provider?

Your healthcare provider will tell you how often to come in for follow-up visits. He may refer you to a specialist, such as a urologist or nephrologist. The specialists may do tests or procedures to find more serious problems with your urinary system. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever that gets worse or does not go away with treatment.

  • You cannot keep liquids or medicines down.

  • Your urine gets darker, even after you drink extra liquids.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition, treatment, or care.

When should I seek immediate help?

Seek help immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have blood in your urine after a new injury, such as a fall.

  • You are urinating very small amounts or not at all.

  • You feel like you cannot empty your bladder.

  • You have severe back or side pain that does not go away with treatment.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

Learn more about Acute Hematuria