Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is usually diagnosed in children who have infections in their digestive system. The E.coli bacteria takes over the intestinal tract and kills red blood cells as it enters the blood stream. This may cause kidney failure and possibly death if not properly treated. The syndrome is acquired from a number of places including improperly cooked foods and unsanitary swimming areas. Get the facts about this syndrome and how it is treated.
Early symptoms Children who have this condition are pale, irritated and weak. They tend to bleed very easily from the mouth and nose for no apparent reason. However, the bleeding occurs in small amounts. Unexplained bruising anywhere on the body may occur as well. These signs and symptoms usually begin a week after the E.coli infection has occurred.
Kidney failure Statistics show that over 50 percent of infected children develop kidney problems, including kidney failure. This problem leads to a decreased output of urine. The urine often has a red coloring caused by clogged blood vessels in kidneys. Kidney function is reduced, leading to high blood pressure and excess body fluid. It's important to report any of these symptoms immediatedly.
Diagnoses Diagnosing hemolytic uremic syndrome begins with blood testing. A blood sample is placed under a microscope and checked for misshapen cells. Physicians will also need to know exactly when symptoms began.
Treatment Treatment requires balancing the amount of sodium and water in the body. This takes care of the swelling and high blood pressure symptoms. Other treatment options include red blood cell transfusions. Since the condition destroys these types of cells, it is important to replenish them as soon as possible. At times, kidney dialysis may be needed to increase the organ's functions. Kidneys will also need to be filtered and cleaned to get rid of excess fluid that is stored in each kidney.
Prevention As a parent, you can prevent this syndrome from affecting your children by thoroughly cooking meat products, cleaning cooking utensils and preparation areas. Also, avoid dirty swimming pools or other unclean places.