The commonly held belief that presence of blood in urine of children is a sign of some severe illness or disease is just a flawed assumption, driven by fear and anxiety. The truth is, as per medical experts, some amount of red blood cells (RBCs) are considered perfectly normal in the urine. This is so because millions of dead RBCs are discharged through the urine every day, as the body gets rid of inefficient and dead blood cells. However, it’s scary for both the parents and children, in case, there are frequent episodes of blood discharge when urine is passed. Moreover, for parents, it might not always be possible that they can detect the presence of blood in urine by the naked eyes. Often, the presence of minerals in the blood which are discharged in high quantities in the urine serves as a proof for occurrence of blood in the urine. Since it is not always simple to detect the presence of blood in urine by parents or by the kid, it becomes mandatory for the parents to have a urine check up of the child. An expert will be able to separate the facts from the fiction by giving you a realistic picture of the child’s health.
In medical terminology, presence of blood in urine in children is called hematuria. Hematuria is generally of two types; microscopic hematuria and macroscopic hematuria. In microscopic hematuria there is an abnormal count of red blood cells, but it can’t be visualized by the naked eyes. In macroscopic hematuria, also known as gross hematuria, the amount of blood cells is enough to cause significant changes in the color of the blood turning it from red to pink or brown.
There are many causes of hematuria in children and some of the most important ones have been mentioned further.
Hypercalciuria (presence of extra calcium)
Urinary tract infection
Urinary bladder infection
Kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis)
Sickle cell disease
Ureteropelvic Junction(UPJ) obstruction
Urolithiasis (higher concentration of minerals in the urinary tract)
Vascular Anomolies Symptoms
In the microscopic hematuria, there are hardly any symptoms, however the associated problems may show several symptoms. For instance, if the child is suffering from urinary infections, he may feel the urge to urinate frequently or may complain about burning sensation during urination. If there is a urinary or kidney stone problem, then the child may experience renal colic pain. Mostly, when the child complains of painful urination or abdominal pain frequently, the doctor will go for some diagnostic tests to get to the root of the problem.
To be diagnosed for hematuria, a child has to go through various tests. These include blood tests and cystoscopy, that is a test in which the urinary bladder and urinary tracts are examined through the urethra with the help of a viewing tube. However, not every child is required to go through the cystoscopy test. In most of the cases, a renal and urinary bladder ultrasound is considered sufficient for diagnosis. Radiographic imaging is also found to be very helpful in diagnosing hematuria in children and is recommended by the doctor, if need arises.
The treatment of hematuria involves a critical study of the patient’s medication history and diagnostic tests. The urologist will determine the type of treatment based on the information gathered through repeated tests and medical history of the child. For example, if the child has a kidney stone related problem, then the treatment would involve a kidney transplant or removal of urinary stones. Antibiotic treatments are prescribed for children suffering from urinary tract infections.
Blood in urine in children is a problem that needs to be handled with care and patience. The health graph of the child must be observed on a regular, weekly and monthly basis. Parents should not panic during treatment process as hematuria is a medical condition that can be cured with proper medication.
Disclaimer: The contents mentioned in this article are just for general knowledge purpose only and are not a substitute for medical treatment. The complexities of hematuria in children must be addressed by an expert pediatric nephrologist.