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Children and HUS

Children and HUS: A Very Dangerous Risk of Contaminated Food

While adults can contract hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a disease that destroys red blood cells, it is most commonly diagnosed in children and the elderly. In fact, it is the most common cause of sudden, short term acute kidney failure in children. It usually develops when a child is infected by O157:H7, E. coli 026, or other strains of E. coli bacteria, which usually come from ingesting contaminated food, like meat, dairy products, and juice. Although, some children have contracted HUS after swimming in pools or lakes contaminated with feces.

For many children, hemolytic uremic syndrome signs and symptoms may not show up until a week after the digestive problems associated with food poisoning have occurred.  A child whom contracts HUS will likely remain pale, tired and irritable, and may experience small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose or mouth as the illness is destroying the platelets along with the red blood cells.

More than half of all children who contract HUS develop acute kidney failure, which causes a serious decrease in the child’s urine output.  In some cases, the urine may also appear red, because the red blood cells damaged by HUS have begun to clog the blood vessels in the kidneys, making them work harder to remove wastes and extra fluid from the blood. This condition may cause a buildup of excess fluid and wastes, which may in turn cause high blood pressure or swelling of the face, hands, feet, or entire body.  Any child with unexplained bruises, unusual bleeding, swollen limbs or generalized swelling, extreme fatigue, or who hasn’t urinated for 12 hours or more should be taken to a doctor or an emergency room.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome treatments will often include replenishing fluids and may include a transfusion of red blood cells and/or platelets delivered intravenously. In some HUS cases, the child may have to undergo dialysis. A child diagnosed with HUS may also sustain severe kidney damage that slowly develops into permanent kidney failure, which will then require long-term dialysis, or possibly even a kidney transplant. All of these possibility can be traumatic for the child and the rest of the family, and can result in huge medical bills and other expenses.

If your child has developed a case of hemolytic uremic syndrome, you should be aware of your rights so that you can protect them. The Texas Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm is here to answer your questions regarding food borne illnesses lawsuits in the San Antonio, Texas areas. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by food contamination or food poisoning, please call the Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm today. It is extremely important that you contact an attorney quickly to protect your rights.