Does my situation qualify as an “emergency” for an ER visit?
My PPO only covers 100% if the visit was in fact an “emergency.” Otherwise it’s 50%. I went to the ER a few weeks ago because of severe abdominal pain/cramping and worsening rectal bleeding. I also have a family history of IBD (ulcerative colitis). They discovered blood in my urine, so they made me have an xray and (most expensive) have an ultrasound. Based on this, do you think my situation would be an emergency?
Of course it does .
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease which leads to inflammation and sores that are called ulcers. It is also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It forms ulcers in the rectum lining and colon which results in the death of the cells forming pus and bleeding. This also leads in emptying of the colon and causing diarrhea. It is mainly characterized by diarrhea and pain in the abdomen. The general symptoms of the disease are anemia, fatigue, weight loss, appetite loss, fever, rectal bleeding, and loss of fluids of body, skin lesions, abdominal camps, joint pains and reduction in growth.
Ulcerative colitis is classified into many types and the signs and symptoms vary accordingly. The main types are: Ulcerative Proctitis, Proctosigmoiditis, Left-sided colitis, Pancolitis and Fulminant colitis. In case of Ulcerative Proctitis inflammation is in the rectum and sometimes rectal bleeding also. This the mildest form of Ulcerative colitis. In Proctosigmoiditis the main symptoms are bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pains. In case of Left-sided colitis inflammation is towards the left side and moves through the sigmoid and the descending colon. Its symptoms are bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, fatigue and weight loss. Pancolitis affects the complete colon and causes severe bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain. Fulminant colitis is the most life-threatening form of colitis that affects the colon and causes severe pain, diarrhea, dehydration and shock. In most of the patients with mild conditions the symptoms are not seen clearly.
Ulcerative colitis can be caused due to many reasons. The exact causes are not known but still some are expected to be increasing the symptoms of the disease. According to some scientists a virus or bacterium may increase the disease as it leads to inflammation of digestive tract while fighting with the foreign microorganism or pathogen. This disease may be hereditary also. It can occur in people of all the ages. It is generally seen in the people of ages between 15 and 30 years and sometimes in people between 50 and 70 years of age. It is found in both men and women.
Ulcerative colitis is difficult to be diagnosed as its symptoms are common with other intestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease. There are many tests done to diagnose this disease. Blood tests are done to check for anemia that indicates bleeding of colon or rectum. Blood tests also reveal the count of white blood cells that reveals the sign of inflammation in the body. The presence of white blood cells in stool sample also indicates the inflammatory disease. The stool sample also helps in detection of bleeding or infection in the colon or rectum which is caused because of any bacteria, virus or parasites. The most proper method is colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. In case of this test an endoscope (a flexible tube attached to a computer and TV monitor) is inserted into the anus to get the inner view of the colon and rectum. This enables the doctor to see any inflammation, bleeding or ulcers on the wall of the colon. Sometimes biopsy may also be done to get the proper results. In few cases barium X-ray or CT scans are also done to diagnose the disease in its later stages.
Ulcerative colitis affects a continuous part of the inner lining of the colon usually starting from rectum. Sometimes it may cause severe complications like: severe bleeding, perforated colon, severe dehydration, liver disease, osteoporosis, inflammation on skin and eyes, increased chances of colon cancer and toxic mega colon. The treatment of the disease initially includes several drugs (antibiotics and anti-inflammatory) that control the inflammation, replace the lost fluids and nutrients and decrease other symptoms. In case of patients having severe complications surgery is preferred.
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