How do you tell if there is blood mixed in the output after ostomy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/20/2007 6:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Here I am enlisting your help again.  When I emptied out my bag today, I found the output reddish and kind of a smell (Not too bad like blood but I am concerned)   I guess I am worrying a little about it being mixed with blood.  (I had bloody diarrhea when I was very sick with Crohn's before I had my ileostomy surgery).  I record what I eat faithfully with a food log and I cannot recall anything (maybe food coloring) might cause it?   How do you tell if it really is blood and that I should be calling my doctor?  I am still trying to find the right appliance that will stop leakage (due to two dips beside the stoma, hot weather and occasional retraction on the stoma)  so my skin will have a chance to heal (it has been six months!)  I think I finally find Coloplast (deep convexity), plus skin  barrier and Adapt seals to fill the dips at the sides of the stoma.  The thing is, my E.T. nurse told me that it is not in stock with Shield Health Care and I may have to order the items myself (pay out of my own pocket).  Anyway, I am still waiting for the order to go through.  Will greatly appreciate it if anyone of you can help.
JudyK89, if you are rading this, I just want to say "Welcome back!"  I hope your surgery went well and it was good to to know that you are back.  I had been thinking about you while you were out.  Also, thanks for all your help to all of us who get on this forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 8/24/2007 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   
One way that I can think of that will tell you if it's blood or not is to use those occult blood tests. You may have used these in the past to test for blood in stool. You simply smear a little of the part that you suspect could be blood onto the test area, seal it according to the instructions, and mail it off. The results are sent to your GI (from whom you would obtain the sample kits originally BTW). Check with your GI for results. Good luck.

A few days after my son's colectomy we noticed a lot of red blood-like liquid in his bag. In my son's case it turned out to be the red gatorade he had been drinking. Strangely none of the hospital staff, not even the surgeon nor any of his collegues, warned us to avoid red coloring nor did they even suspect that that could be the culprit. Despite the fact that there was this big jug of red gatorade on my son's bed tray. It was ultimatly my husband who suggested the possibility. Sure enough, when we changed the color of the gatorade, the color in the bag changed too.

You're very watchful of what you eat. I would just avoid anything red of both food and liquid until you're able to test.

Good luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/26/2007 12:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Js Mom,
Thanks so much for you kind words.  Unfortunately, it is confirmed that my Crohn's has come back.   Needless to say, I am very sad and disappointed.  It really happens without any warning at all.  I had my surgery Feb 2006 and I thought that I would stay well for a while.  Anyway, my G.I. doctor is working with me to see what is the best course of action to take.  She told me that she hadn't have a patient who bleed from the stoma.  I wonder if this has happened  to anyone.  I was so looking forward to visit my mom who lives 8,000 miles away in Christmas.  This is quite a set back for me.  I am hoping and praying that we can get control on this and that I will be well and stay away from the hospital.  I really feel bad not just for myself but also the worry and pain I put my husband and family through.
Thanks again for writing.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 8/26/2007 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry that the Crohn's has come back. Was it ever in your small intestine before? Have you been on any medicine since your ileostomy? You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 8/26/2007 9:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! Flchurchlady,
I was first told that I had UC.  Then I got a J-pouch after terrible blood loss and sudden drop in blood pressure; horrible pain too.  Then the pouch worked for about 7 years or so then I started to develop obstruction problems which also led to my ileostomy last year.  I was never told that I had Crohn's in my small intestine prior to this last incident.  I was taking Immuno suppressant drugs for a while after the surgery but I started a month long cold last winter with quite a bit of complications.  My G.I. doctor and I agreed to take a break.  Then came the bleeding stoma.  When my doctor did the EGD, the doctor mentioned ulcer along where the stomach and the intestine connects.  Too much acid.  I wonder if that was why I have been having a hard time getting a wafer that lasts.  I also wonder what the other ostomates' experiences are if they do have a return of the disease.  It is always scary not to know when it will hit and how will it hit.
Anyway, I am trying to look at the bright side - I am not bleeding and I hope it will stay this way when I start eating solid food.  I hope my doctor would come up with some medications that can help my condition.  Right now I just really would like to have a break from the illness.  I am thankful to my family (but I do feel really bad about having them worrying about me all the time).  And I am thankful to people like yourself who try to help in every way.
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