Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a disorder that usually occurs when an E. coli bacterial infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances that destroy red blood cells. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and weakness. In severe cases it can lead to kidney failure or death. While this condition is most common in children, it often has a more complicated presentation in adults. Treatment may include
With proper management, most children who develop hemolytic uremic
However, children with hemolytic uremic syndrome may have serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including:
Some children may sustain significant kidney damage that slowly develops into chronic kidney disease (CKD). Children who develop CKD must receive treatment to replace the work the kidneys do, either through
If you need medical advice, you can look for doctors or other healthcare professionals who have experience with this disease. You may find these specialists through advocacy organizations, clinical trials, or articles published in medical journals. You may also want to contact a university or tertiary medical center in your area, because these centers tend to see more complex cases and have the latest technology and treatments.
If you can’t find a specialist in your local area, try contacting national or international specialists. They may be able to refer you to someone they know through conferences or research efforts. Some specialists may be willing to consult with you or your local doctors over the phone or by email if you can't travel to them for care.
You can find more tips in our guide, How to Find a Disease Specialist. We also encourage you to explore the rest of this page to find resources that can help you find specialists.
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Support and advocacy groups can help you connect with other patients and families, and they can provide valuable services. Many develop patient-centered information and are the driving force behind research for better treatments and possible cures. They can direct you to research, resources, and services. Many organizations also have experts who serve as medical advisors or provide lists of doctors/clinics. Visit the group’s website or contact them to learn about the services they offer. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement by GARD.
These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.
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I was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome as an infant. I developed kidney and heart failure and received several blood transfusions. At the age of 15 I was put on blood pressure medication. Is kidney disease/dialysis part of the long-term outlook for people who were affected by this condition as a child? See answer