Pyelonephritis is urinary tract infection (UTI) that has traveled up and out of the bladder, into the ureter and reaching the pelvis of the kidney. Women who are sexually active, infants, the elderly and patients with indwelling urinary catheters are at an increased risk of developing pyelonephritis.
If you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), you may experience burning with urination, an urgent or frequent need to go to the bathroom, cloudy or dark urine, and pelvic or lower abdominal pain. A low grade fever may or may not be present. If a UTI is not diagnosed and treated properly, it could lead to the development of pyelonephritis.
Patients with pyelonephritis, or kidney infection, may present with a high fever, fast heart rate, painful urination, blood in urine, nausea, vomiting, shaking chills, night sweats, abdominal pain or tenderness over the costovertebral angle. The costovertebral angle is located on either side of the back in between the 12th rib, and vertebral column, where the kidneys are located. Pain is also present in that area if there is a kidney stone or inflammation of the kidney. If there is a failure to diagnose or treat pyelonephritis, it could lead to urosepsis or an overwhelming bacteria invasion of the blood stream. Sepsis or septic shock can lead to a very low blood pressure, fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, decreased urine output, organ failure, coma or even death.
Bladder infections, UTI's or pyelonephritis can be caused by E. coli, enterococcus faecalis, coliform bacteria, enterococci, pseudomonas or klebsiella. In order to confirm what organism could be causing the infection, a urine culture with antibiotic sensitivity needs to be performed. Not only will the test diagnose what bacterium is causing the infection, it will determine what antibiotic is best to help treat the infection. Most times, if the infection is diagnosed and treated early enough, the patient will only have to take oral antibiotics or pills to treat the infection. However, if there was a delay in diagnosing the infection, the patient may need to be admitted to the hospital for intravenous (IV) hydration and IV antibiotics. If urosepsis or septic shock is present, additional medications may be needed to maintain the blood pressure and other vital organ functions. A failure to properly treat urosepsis could lead to an infection related death.
If you, your child or a loved one has suffered due to a delay in diagnosing and treating a UTI, kidney infection, bladder infection or pyelonephritis, please feel free to contact one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers, doctors or nurses for a strictly confidential and free consultation. To date, we have been awarded over $2 billion on behalf of our injured clients.