Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disease of blood clotting in the smallest blood vessels in the body. As red blood cells pass through the blocked blood vessels, the blood cells are damaged (hemolyzed).
The damaged red blood cells clog the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys. This makes it harder for the kidney to remove wastes and extra fluid from the blood. This may cause the kidneys to completely stop working (kidney failure).
The most common cause of HUS is eating food that is contaminated with a certain kind of E. coli bacteria. Other possible causes are:
Your healthcare provider will review your child’s medical history and do a physical exam, however, blood tests are needed to diagnose HUS. Blood tests will show how well your child's kidneys are working and will check your child's blood count. Your healthcare provider may also check your child's urine for blood or protein, and your child's stool for blood. In some cases a kidney biopsy may be done.
Your child will be treated in the hospital. The treatment will depend on your child’s condition. Your child may need:
In rare cases, your child may need a kidney transplant.
HUS is most commonly caused by infection with certain E. Coli bacteria. Infection with these bacteria can be prevented by thoroughly cooking meat. You cannot prevent HUS caused by medicines, bone marrow transplants, or other diseases.
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