The nurse is caring for a patient with fulminant ulcerative colitis.  The nurse would be alert for which of the following symptoms associated with severe fulminant ulcerative colitis?

10 or more bowel movements per day
Bowel perforation
Toxic megacolon


• Ulcerative colitis correlates with bowel ulceration and dilation, leading to malabsorption of nutrients and diarrhea. These patients may have many bowel movements each day, abdominal discomfort, some bloody stools, and anemia.

• Fulminant colitis refers to the most severe type of ulcerative colitis. These patients have the symptoms of chronic ulcerative colitis like anemia and malabsorption but more severe manifestations including more than 10 stools per day, continuous bleeding, abdominal pain and distension, and toxic symptoms of fever and anorexia. These patients may progress to toxic megacolon and bowel perforation.

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