The Bowel

The Bowel



Acute Diarrhoea


Pathology:               Defined as loose, watery stools of less than 14 days, can be bloody or non-bloody


Aetiology:                 Infective Bloody Diarrhoea: Escherichia Coli, Shigella, Campylobacter, Yersinia,

Amoebic Dysentery and Salmonella

Infective Non-Bloody Diarrhoea: Norovirus, Clostridium Difficile, Giardia, Cholera,

Strongyloides, Escherichia Coli or Malaria

Symptoms:              Abdominal pain, diarrhoea


Signs:                      Pyrexia, systemically unwell


Investigations:      Bloods: FBC shows a raised white cell count and raised CRP

Microbiology: Stool cultures

Imaging: Abdominal X-ray to assess for toxic megacolon, perforation or ileus

Other: If lasts longer than 4-6 weeks or patient is systemically unwell then should

 be considered for flexible sigmoidoscopy


Treatment:              Conservative: Rehydration

Medical: Antibiotics for infection: erythromycin, ciprofloxacin or metronidazole


Complications:      Dehydration


Prognosis:               Good prognosis with adequate fluid resuscitation 

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