Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Lawyer. If you have contracted Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli, it is possible to develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a serious complication of E. coli poisoning. HUS is typically characterized by the abnormal destruction or damage to red blood cells, which in turn can cause anemia, damage to blood vessel walls, blood clots, and in some cases, life-threatening kidney failure.

While anyone can develop HUS from an E. coli infection, children are typically more at risk. HUS generally develops in children after five to ten days of diarrhea, which is usually bloody, and is caused by certain types of E. coli bacteria. If a child becomes infected with these certain strains of E. coli, the bacteria will enter the intestinal tract and produce toxins that travel through the bloodstream destroying red blood cells. When the kidneys attempt to filter these damaged red blood cells, they often stop functioning, and a child can develop acute kidney injury, which is the sudden and temporary loss of kidney function. HUS is the most common cause of acute kidney injury in children.

But Where Can My Child Pick Up HUS-Causing E. Coli?

The strain or type of toxin-producing E. coli that can result in HUS can be contracted from contaminated food or water from a restaurant or even a swimming pool or lake. The bacteria can also be found in unpasteurized or raw milk, in undercooked meat, especially ground beef, unwashed and contaminated raw vegetables and fruits, contaminated juice, and in some cases from unwashed hands after visiting a petting zoo, changing a diaper, or going to the bathroom.

Symptoms and Signs of HUS

The most common symptoms of someone with HUS are those that characterize gastroenteritis, which is the inflammation of the small and large intestine, and the stomach lining. These symptoms include:

  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Headaches

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, fainting, weakness, or turning pale, all of which are associated with anemia. But if and when HUS is causing acute kidney injury, symptoms can include swelling of the legs and feet, decreased urine output, and bloody urine. Accordingly, if you or your child have unusual bleeding, swelling, have a decrease in urine output, and become extremely fatigued, it is important to seek medical treatment right away as acute kidney injury is serious and can be life-threatening.

While most children who develop HUS and its complications recover without permanent damage to their health, if proper and prompt treatment for HUS is not sought, it is possible that serious complications can develop, such as abnormal kidney function, kidney failure, pancreatitis, gallstones, seizures, stroke, coma, heart problems like heart attacks, and in some cases, can even lead to death. So again, if you or your child show any signs or symptoms of HUS, it is imperative that you consult with a health care provider as soon as possible.

HUS And E. Coli Poisoning Litigation

Oftentimes, the source of the toxin-producing E. coli is a certain food product from a supermarket or a restaurant. In these cases, it is possible to file a claim for damages against those responsible for your illness, whether it is the supermarket or restaurant, or even the food distributor or supplier. Successful lawsuits can result in significant monetary damages that can help cover the extensive and expensive medical treatment, therapy, and recovery that one often endures in when they become ill with HUS.

In the meantime, you can help prevent HUS by making sure your food is thoroughly cooked, cleaning food preparation surfaces, avoiding contaminated swimming areas, avoiding unpasteurized juices and milk, and making sure your hands are clean before eating.

Sacramento Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Lawyer
Picture of Edward A. Smith

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Lawyer. If you or someone you love has become seriously sick or died due to food poisoning, please call me promptly at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

Learn more about me by reading my reviews on Yelp, Avvo, and Google Plus.

Meet my competent and friendly staff.

I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are trial attorneys who have won numerous case verdicts and settlements worth more than a million dollars.

See some of my high case verdicts and settlements here: Past Verdicts and settlements Page.

I’ve been practicing personal injury law exclusively for more than three decades.


Image Attribution: By Nephron (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], by way of Wikimedia Commons

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