Hematuria is the presence of blood in the urine. If your child has blood in her urine, it can go away on its own, or it might be the only symptom of a problem that a doctor needs to check.
When you can see blood in the urine, it is the red blood cells causing the urine to appear red, pink or the color of rust or cola. Apart from the appearance of blood in the urine, children with hematuria usually do not have symptoms.
If your child’s hematuria is caused by a urinary tract infection, your child may complain of burning when he urinates, or of feeling the need to urinate frequently. Having pain or urinary symptoms, or not having them, has little to do with how severe your child’s hematuria might be.
If you think your child has hematuria, or blood in the urine, you should visit your child’s doctor. The doctor will examine your child and ask questions about your child’s health.
At the doctor’s office, your child will be asked to give a urine sample. The urine will be collected and a dipstick—a strip of paper treated with chemicals—will be inserted into the urine. When blood is visible in the urine or when spots on the dipstick change color, indicating the presence of red blood cells, your child’s doctor may make the diagnosis of hematuria.
Sometimes, hematuria is microscopic, or can’t be seen without the help of a microscope. The doctor may send your child’s urine sample to a lab for further testing. The test might reveal red blood cells in the urine, or white blood cells, which can mean your child has a urinary tract infection.
It’s important to find out the cause of microscopic hematuria as soon as possible, especially if your child has hypertension (high blood pressure), chronic kidney disease or excessive protein in the urine.
Your child’s doctor may order additional tests to determine how your child’s kidneys are functioning and gather other important information about possible causes of hematuria
Babies are born with two kidneys. One of the functions of the kidneys is to filter blood from urine.
Hematuria may occur because blood leaks through the kidneys’ filters or comes from any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, which produce urine; the bladder, where urine is stored; the ureters, which transport urine from the kidneys to the bladder; or the urethra, the tube the urine passes through as it leaves your child’s body.
Hematuria is common in children and may result from several causes, including
In many cases, doctors can find no particular cause for hematuria.
If your child has hematuria, or blood in the urine, she might not need treatment; sometimes the problem is mild and goes away on its own.
Sometimes, though, hematuria can be a sign of a problem in your child’s body. For this reason, your child’s doctor may want to perform tests to find out what’s causing the blood to appear in the urine.
Once your child’s doctor knows the cause, your child will receive treatment that manages the cause, which will eventually get rid of the blood in your urine and any symptoms your child might have. For example, if your child has a urinary tract infection, the doctor might give your child antibiotics. You should make sure your child takes all of the antibiotics. Often, the doctor also will recommend that your child have a follow-up examination or urine test to make sure the infection is cured.
Other causes of hematuria may require different types of treatment. If your child’s hematuria is from a kidney stone, for example, your child will have pain and doctors will remove the kidney stone. If your child’s hematuria is from sickle cell disease, doctors will try to manage the blood disorder so that it doesn’t cause hematuria.
American Board of Pediatrics/Nephrology
Hematuria is blood in the urine. Blood in the urine can be present even if you can’t see it. When you can see it, it’s called gross hematuria. When it’s visible only through a microscope examination of a urine sample, it’s called microscopic hematuria.
The kidneys filter blood from the urine. If they’re not functioning properly, blood leaks through the kidneys’ filters. It also can come from any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, which make the urine, the bladder where urine is stored, or the urethra, the tube that allows urine to flow out of the body.
In many cases, no particular cause for hematuria can be found. In such cases, it’s called idiopathic hematuria. In other cases, blood in the urine can occur for a variety of reasons, including kidney disease, urinary infection, certain diseases that run in families, and, rarely, tumors or cancer.
Except for the appearance of blood with gross hematuria, there often are no symptoms. Sometimes, however, if the hematuria is caused by a urinary tract infection, your child may feel burning during urination or may have to urinate frequently.
The amount of blood, or even the ability to see blood, is no indication of severity.
Your child’s doctor can perform blood and urine tests as part of a complete evaluation. In rare cases, a kidney biopsy may be necessary.
Your child may not need treatment if no cause is found for the hematuria. If a cause is discovered, however, treatment is targeted toward that cause. If your child has a urinary tract infection, for example, the doctor would prescribe antibiotics and perform a repeat urine test once your child has completed the course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection is gone.