July 15, 2018

Long Term Effects of Pediatric HUS

An article published in Clinical Infectious Diseases concludes that children who develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) after E. coli poisoning must have years of follow-up testing to monitor for signs of long-term health complications. Pediatric HUS can be costly and traumatic.

Child in Hospital

The study, titled “Need for Long-term Follow-up in Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli-Associated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Due to Late Emerging Sequelae” is an important finding for parents of children who have developed HUS. Researchers found that even when patients had fully recovered, they must be closely monitored for at least five years to detect health problems

Researchers followed 619 pediatric patients over six years in Austria and Germany and noted that “thirty percent of HUS patients presented with hypertension, impaired renal function, or neurologic symptoms at the 5-year follow-up.” ┬áThese complications can significantly affect the health of these children. The authors also said, “Our data strongly suggest that HUS should no longer be viewed as a critical acute disease only.”

“Parents of children with HUS are now being urged by the doctors who worked on this study to continue with medical investigations for at least five or six years to detect late-emerging “sequelae” – problems that emerge after the life-threatening acute phase of pediatric HUS. This study is the largest ever investigating the long-term effects of this disease,” the researchers continued.

Risk factors that predict the possibility of long-term complications include:

  • Patient received dialysis for more than 14 days
  • High white blood counts
  • Absence of bloody diarrhea
  • During the acute phase of the illness:
    • Use of plasma therapy
    • High blood pressure
    • Neurologic symptoms

When children are the victims of a foodborne illness caused by STEC bacteria, and develop HUS, this disease should be considered chronic. The long term effects of pediatric HUS necessitate follow-up testing. Future medical bills and emotional distress should be considered when planning long term care. And in lawsuits, these possible complications must be considered.

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If your child has been sickened with HUS, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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