Blood in the stools secondary to trauma

Patient

Q: My friend is a tree climber. Yesterday a 200 pound tree fell and the rope caught him and sandwiched him between the bucket truck. His ribs are hurting pretty bad and the sternum.Tonight he had a BM that had a good amount of blood in it. Is this internal bleeding??

Doctor

A:   Your friend may have sustained trauma to the gastrointestinal tract secondary to the fall. He may have damaged or lacerated part of the bowel wall, resulting in blood in the stools. I would advise attending the local emergency room, for appropriate imaging of the gastrointestinal tract, to determine the exact location of the bleeding and appropriate treatment.

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