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Over a 4-year period 107 patients, 5% of all emergency admissions, were admitted to one surgical unit with significant lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage (requiring more than a 2-unit transfusion of blood). Twenty-three individuals required more than 3 units of blood, and 7 life-saving surgery. All subjects undergoing surgery required more than 3 units of blood in the first 24 hours of admission. Arteriography was diagnostic in 5 of the 9 subjects in whom it was performed. Arteriography was positive if performed in the first 24 hours of admission. A flow chart of the management of patients with lower gastrointestinal haemorrhage is presented.