Hemolytic uremic syndrome
- People who have weakened immune systems.
- Adults older than 60 years of age.
- People who have certain genetic changes that make them more susceptible.
- Pregnancy and the early postpartum (after delivery) time period and the use of birth control pills are the more common associations with Hemolytic uremic syndrome.
- Pneumonia caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria is another possible precipitating factor. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is rare complication of this common infection. Most often, this pneumonia is treated with antibiotics as an outpatient.
- Medications may be also associated with HUS, including some chemotherapy and immunosuppression drugs, birth control pills.
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloody diarrhea.
- Pale skin tone.
- Fatigue and irritability.
- Fever, usually not high.
- Small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth.
- Decreased urination or blood in the urine.
- Swelling of the face, hands, feet or entire body.
- Blood tests. Blood tests may reveal a low platelet count, low red blood cell count or a higher than normal level of creatinine — a breakdown product of creatine, an important part of muscle — in your blood. A blood sample can also be used to determine if your red blood cells are damaged.
- Stool sample. Additionally, your doctor may take a stool sample to test for the presence of bacteria.
- Red blood cell transfusions. If you don't have enough red blood cells, you may feel chilled, fatigued and short of breath. You may have a rapid heart rate, yellow skin and dark urine. Red blood cell transfusions, given through an intravenous (IV) needle, may help reverse these signs and symptoms.
- Platelet transfusions. If you're bleeding or bruising easily, platelet transfusions can help your blood clot more normally. Like red blood cell transfusions, platelet transfusions are given through an IV needle.
- Plasma exchange. Plasma is the part of blood that supports the circulation of blood cells and platelets. Sometimes a machine is used to clear the blood of its own plasma and replace it with fresh or frozen donor plasma. This process is called plasmapheresis.
- Kidney dialysis. Sometimes dialysis is needed to filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. Dialysis is usually a temporary treatment until the kidneys begin functioning adequately again. If the kidney damage is significant, however, permanent kidney failure — requiring long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant — is possible.
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