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Stools have been tested for occult gastrointestinal bleeding in 278 outpatients and 170 hospital inpatients using the Haemoccult and Haemastix methods. Seventeen outpatients (6.1%) and 42 inpatients (24%) were positive with the Haemoccult technique. Thirty-three outpatients (11.9%) and 93 inpatients (54.7%) were positive with the Haemastix test. Following investigation of the Haemoccult-positive patients, only 2 cases (3.4%) were considered false positive. However, the false positive rate with Haemastix was 22.9% which is unacceptable in a screening test. Haemoccult may be useful as a screening test for asymptomatic general practice patients, but a test of greater sensitivity is needed for hospital patients.