Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Lawyer
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a condition characterized by the clinical presentations of renal impairment, low platelet count, and hemolytic anemia. Also known as HUS, most cases are caused by E. coli O157:H7 in the United States. Mortality from hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs in five percent of cases, with an equal number of survivors with chronic and severe neurologic damage and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Effective management of HUS requires immediate diagnosis and identification of bacterial pathogenesis.
If you developed hemolytic uremic syndrome from contracting an E. coli infection, contact our law firm today for assistance at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our skilled personal injury lawyers in California can provide free, friendly advice on your HUS case anytime.
In the field of food poisoning cases, which are challenging to prove, selecting a lawyer with knowledge, skills, and resources for your case is essential. No strict liability claim is too difficult for an attorney from our law firm to handle. We have decades of combined experience helping injured parties obtain justice and financial recovery. Learn more about how our legal team can help you with your hemolytic uremic syndrome case by calling today to schedule a free consultation.National Statistics on Food Poisoning Cases
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in six people in the United States contract foodborne diseases every year. This accounts for 48 million annually, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 associated deaths.
While anybody can get sick, some groups are more likely to contract food poisoning and experience severe illness than others. These include pregnant women, children aged 5 or younger, and adults over the age of 65. It may also include those with immunocompromised systems or who take medications to treat them, like kidney disease, liver, and diabetes.What Causes Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome?
There are two variants of the hemolytic uremic syndrome, both of which are termed atypical HUS and typical HUS. Shigella dysenteriae produces the Shiga toxin, which is responsible for the typical variant. Escherichia coli (O157:H7) produces a verotoxin, or Shiga-like toxin (Stx), that causes the typical form.
The atypical variant (aHUS) is associated with immune processes, medication, or bacteria that have the potential to cause damage to the endothelium. Atypical HUS is often caused by the bacterial infection, Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, others may include H1N1 Influenza A, coxsackievirus, histoplasmosis, Clostridium difficile, and Mycoplasma pneumonia.What are the Signs and Symptoms of HUS?
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is characterized by the prodromal manifestation of bloody diarrhea and acute renal failure. During the progression of an infection, an affected individual may experience paleness, bruising, fainting, weakness, and fatigue.
An increased risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome after E. coli infection has been found to occur from factors such as antimotility agent use, female gender, extremes of age, leukocytosis, vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea.How is HUS Diagnosed?
There is no single indicator or test for hemolytic uremic syndrome. Therefore, a panel of evaluations and exams is necessary. This may include patient history, physical examination, kidney biopsy, stool sample, and blood test.
Stool samples will be useful in detecting Shiga toxin-associated HUS and other microbes that cause this condition. Urine tests will detect abnormalities in blood and protein levels in addition to signs of infection. Blood tests will reveal an abnormal level of creatine (waste product excreted from the kidneys), low red blood cell count, or low platelet count.How is Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Treated?
Management of hemolytic uremic syndrome generally occurs in a hospital setting. Fluid and volume therapy is essential in the treatment of HUS cases. This may include tube feeding, nutritional supplementation, and intravenous (IV) fluids. An IV transfusion of platelets or red blood cells may be necessary to reverse symptoms associated with anemia. It may also help with blood clot management.
If lasting renal impairment occurs from HUS, a physician may recommend medication for hypertension management. This serves to delay or prevent further kidney damage. If complications occur or the patient has atypical HUS, a physician may prescribe Soliris to prevent further damage to the blood vessels. Before this medication is prescribed, the patient must receive a meningococcal vaccination.Is Surgery Necessary for HUS?
Surgical intervention and other procedures may be indicated for patients based on their symptoms, the cause of the hemolytic uremic syndrome, and whether they have any complications. Treatments may include:
- Kidney Dialysis: Dialysis is necessary for waste filtration and removal of excess fluid from the blood. If a patient has significant renal impairment, long-term dialysis may be indicated.
- Kidney Transplant: If severe kidney damage from hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs, a patient may require a kidney transplant.
- Plasma Exchange: This procedure may assist in the removal of prothrombotic factors, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and Shiga toxins. This is generally indicated in patients with Shiga toxin-associated HUS (STEC-HUS).
Case studies have suggested that 25 percent of patients with hemolytic uremic syndrome have neurologic involvement, including coma, seizure, and stroke. Conversely, 50 percent of HUS patients require dialysis and 70 percent need red blood cell transfusions.How is a Food Poisoning Case Proven?
Three elements must be met to bring a strict liability claim for food poisoning in California. There must be clear and compelling evidence demonstrating that the food in question was contaminated with a microbe at the time of consumption. This may be done by collecting a sample of the food and sending it to the lab to be tested for pathogens. Conversely, it may also be proven by cases reported by others who have contracted an infection or illness from the same product within the same period.
The second element that must be proven in a strict liability claim for food poisoning is the actual cause of the infection or illness. The third element must demonstrate damages resulting from the food poisoning, whether those were financial, emotional, or physical. This means that evidence must prove that the food in question was contaminated and the contamination was the root cause of illness and associated losses.Steps to Take After Contracting an Infection or Illness
If you believe you have contracted an Escherichia coli infection, it is essential to act quickly. This may make all the difference in the outcome of a strict liability claim for food poisoning against a negligent party or entity. The following steps should be taken after developing an infection or illness:
- Seek Medical Treatment: Foodborne illnesses often go unreported. This may pose a risk to public health since this is an essential step to making food safer for consumers. By seeking immediate medical treatment, your physician can diagnose your condition through a stool sample. If there is a positive result, the case will be reported to the local health department or another appropriate agency.
- Documentation is Key: Keep track of when, where, and what you have eaten in the time following the development of your infection. This information may help pinpoint how you contracted the illness.
- Contact an Attorney: If you have developed HUS from contracting an E. coli infection, you may want to call an experienced hemolytic uremic syndrome lawyer immediately. Be sure to work with an attorney with a history of successful case verdicts and settlements, such as ours from our personal injury law firm.
- Importance of Acting Quickly: In California, you generally have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court, per CCP 335.1. Therefore, do not delay contacting an injury lawyer with years of handling HUS cases to protect your rights and best interests as a claimant.
Our personal injury law firm has decades of combined experience handling a wide array of cases, including those involving foodborne illnesses. Our goal is to make the community safer, which starts with holding negligent parties and entities accountable for their actions. Watch this video to learn more about how our hemolytic uremic syndrome lawyers can help with your case.About Our Law Firm
Since 1982, the legal team at AutoAccident.com has helped those harmed by the negligence of others seek financial recovery for the damages they have suffered. Regarding foodborne illnesses, such as Escherichia coli and Shiga toxin-associated HUS, our team of experienced injury attorneys will be here to determine whether you have grounds for a strict liability claim. Justice will take the form of an insurance settlement with the other side or a jury award in civil court.Contact a Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Attorney Today
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a serious condition that may impact all aspects of life for an individual and their family. If you developed HUS after an E. coli infection, contact our law firm today to discuss your potential strict liability claim at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Our multilingual legal team can provide free, friendly case advice anytime.
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