The Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium can be found in contaminated food such as meat, dairy products, and juice. It can also be present in swimming pools or lakes that are contaminated with feces and at petting zoos. Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) develops when the E. coli bacteria that is in the stomach or intestines starts to make toxins or poisons that get into the child's bloodstream and destroy the red blood cells and platelets.
HUS usually begins as a stomach or gastrointestinal (GI) illness or food poisoning with vomiting and diarrhea. The child may become pale, tired, weak, and irritable. Other symptoms that may develop are unexplained bruises, red or dark urine, or a bloody nose because the blood clotting cells or platelets are also being destroyed. Jaundice, a high bilirubin level or yellow skin may also be present due to the red blood cell damage. As the disease progresses, there could be a decrease in the amount of urine because the destroyed red blood cells start clogging the blood vessels that supply the kidneys. If there is a decrease in the amount of times the child goes to the bathroom, the fluid starts building up in the body and can cause swelling (edema) of the face, hands, feet or entire body. If a physician does not diagnose and treat HUS, it can lead to permanent kidney damage, kidney or renal failure, a kidney transplant, and even death.
Once HUS is diagnosed, treatment is aimed at maintaining normal salt (sodium) and water levels in the body, replacing red blood cells if needed and dialysis or a machine to take over the kidneys job to help filter out the toxins and extra fluid. HUS must be treated as soon as possible to prevent permanent kidney damage or death in a child.
If you or your child developed HUS or kidney problems that were not properly diagnosed and treated, please feel free to contact one of our experienced E. coli infection lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 866-2424 for a strictly confidential and free consultation. We have on staff doctors and nurses who have worked in hospitals and doctor's offices treating patients who were infected with E. coli and other stomach bugs and know how dangerous they can be if not properly treated. Since 1958, we have had over $2 billion awarded on behalf of our injured clients. We were there when they needed us and we are here for you now.