Causes of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder resulting from an infection that produces toxins that destroy red blood cells. When this happens, the damaged red blood cells tend to clog the filtering system in the kidneys, which can lead to severe kidney damage and possible renal failure. The most common cause of HUS is through infection with E. coli bacteria, specifically the E. coli O157:H7 strain, although some cases of HUS have developed following exposure to other foodborne infections, such as shigella and salmonella, as well.
The E. coli O157:H7 bacteria are usually found in improperly washed or undercooked meat and dairy products, although, in recent years, an increasing number of cases of contamination have been traced to certain types of vegetables, especially leafy greens, like spinach. In all, there are an estimated 73,000 cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection every year. While most people infected with the bacteria will suffer mild to moderate symptoms, in some severe cases, victims will develop HUS.
HUS is more common in children than adults, and in most cases, children contract it through tainted food. There were several large outbreaks in the 1990s that were tied to tainted and undercooked hamburger meat. In adults, HUS is more complicated, and can be caused by a number of factors, including the use of certain medications, pregnancy, or infections such as HIV/AIDS or pneumococcal bacteria. But, as with children most cases of HUS come as a direct result of food poisoning.
If E. coli food poisoning has led to a case of hemolytic uremic syndrome for either you or a loved one, you should be aware of your rights so that you can protect them. The Texas E. Coli Lawyer at Hill Law Firm has experience in Houston, San Antonio and across Texas, taking on some of the largest food conglomerates in the world in food contamination illnesses cases. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by food contamination or food poisoning, please call the Texas E. Coli Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas today.