Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

August 14 20:58 2019 Print This Article

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a rare condition affecting mostly children under the age of 10. A condition characterized by the breakup of red blood cells (hemolysis) and kidney failure. There is clumping of platelets (the blood cells responsible for clotting) within the kidney’s small blood vessels with resultant ischemia leading to the kidney failure. The partial blockage of the blood vessels also leads to the destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis).

Most cases of HUS occur after a bacterial infection called E. coli. E. coli is short for Escherichia coli a common germ that people and many animals normally have in their digestive tract. But there are less common strains of E. coli that can cause severe digestive cramps and bloody diarrhea, or other problems. HUS develops when someone is infected by a strain of E. coli that produces a toxin that damages the lining of blood vessels. As red blood cells travel through the damaged vessels, they are often destroyed.

Symptoms of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome usually become apparent three to 10 days after the development of gastroenteritis and may include sudden paleness irritability, weakness, lack of energy and/or excretion of abnormally diminished amounts of urine.

The disease typically progresses to include inability of the kidneys to process waste products from the blood and excrete them into the urine a decrease in circulating red blood cells a decrease in circulating blood platelets, which assist in blood clotting functions and the abnormal accumulation of platelets within certain blood vessels reducing the blood flow to several organs (e.g., kidneys, pancreas, brain) potentially leading to multiple organ dysfunction or failure.

Causes of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Find common causes and risk factors of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome:

  • E-coli food poisoning.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Certain medications.
  • Inherited factors.
  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
  • Drugs, for example, oral contraceptives, chemotherapeutic medications (mitomycin C, bleomycin, cisplatinum), immunosuppressive agents used during organ transplantation (cyclosporin, tacrolimus), stroke-preventing drugs (ticlopidine hydrochloride), quinine.
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia infection.

Signs and Symptoms of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Weakness.
  • Fever.
  • Tiredness.
  • Fatigue and irritability.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Pale skin tone.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Drowsiness.

Treatment for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Treatment may include:

  • Blood transfusions.
  • Supportive treatments.
  • High blood pressure treatments.
  • Fluids.
  • Salts.