(Please note that at the end of this page we have included a list of some of the recent scientific literature on hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). One area of particular interest, both medically and legally, is the future risks associated with HUS.)
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a severe complication of E. coli poisoning. It is characterized by damage and destruction of the red blood cells, which leads to a lower than normal number of red blood cells (a condition called anemia), blood clots, and damage to blood vessel walls.
Following intestinal damage from the E. coli infection, Shiga toxins created by the bacteria, generally E. coli O157:H7, gain access to the blood stream and find their way into the kidneys. There the toxins damage the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of tiny blood vessels in the glomerulus . Red blood cells are damaged and make tiny blood clots (thrombi) in the filtering system. The result is kidney failure and a host of other severe medical problems.
It is impossible to describe just how horrendous HUS is. Little children can have renal failure, strokes, heart attacks and respiratory failure. Some do not survive. This can happen with one bite of tainted food, and companies that sell that food need to be held accountable.
Unlike most countries, the U.S. government generally does not press criminal charges against corporate CEOs and other executives for selling tainted products. This makes filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit even more important. This is often the only way to get any justice.
Our law firm is one of the very few in the U.S. that regularly represents clients, both children and adults, in these cases. Some of our clients have gone on to be food safety advocates, working to make legislative changes and educate the public about foodborne illness. Our E. coli-HUS lawyers regularly speak to various audiences about food safety. You can contact our E. coli lawyers using our free consultation form.
Both adults and children can develop HUS from an E. coli infection, but children are most at risk. Most children who are diagnosed with acute HUS consumed food or water contaminated with E. coli H7:O157, a specific serotype of the bacteria that is particularly dangerous. According to some studies, as many as 15 percent of children who are infected with E. coli develop this complication.
In many cases the child is one of many who were sickened in an outbreak of E. coli infections. Past outbreaks have been caused by beef (ground, frozen hamburger patties and mechanically tenderized steak), lettuce, spinach, sprouts, raw (unpasteurized) milk and cheese made from this, unpasteurized apple cider, strawberries, hazelnuts, frozen pizza, other frozen food products, and cookie dough. In some outbreaks, a restaurant is linked to the illnesses, but the food source is not found. When this happens, the restaurant is legally responsible for the harm done by the food it served.
Illness can also be caused by contaminated water and contact with animals (petting zoos and fairs). Our lawyers have represented people sickened by tainted drinking well water at a restaurant. We have also represented people throughout the United States sickened by cows, goats, deer and, in one outbreak in Minnesota, a llama.
Other types of E. coli can cause this, including non-O157 serotypes O26, O45, O103, O111, O121 and O145. In rare cases, Shigella bacteria can cause it.
Yes, your family can sue if the E. coli food poisoning can be linked to a food product and/or eating establishment (restaurant, deli, cafeteria). Children are most at risk for developing this complication, and they have legal rights. You can sue a corporate wrongdoer on behalf of your child and make sure your son or daughter has the finances needed for a lifetime of medical expenses caused by the contaminated food. Read: If my child developed HUS from E. coli O157:H7, should we sue?
Attorney Fred Pritzker has been helping people sickened by contaminated food for decades. His cases have involved both adults and children who developed HUS from food tainted with E. coli bacteria. He has spoken at Harvard Law School, Cornell University and other venues about food safety. He has also been quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, CNN and many others. Contact Fred for a free consultation.
“My case was settled for several million dollars. It is comforting to know that when I am no longer able to work, I will still be able to provide for my family. Right now I am going to school and cannot work because school and work is just too much for my kidney disease. The doctors also say that I might have trouble having children because of the disease.” Read the full testimonial.
Complications are severe and can include the following:
Learn about the long-term consequences of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
With careful and aggressive medical attention, the risk of fatality is less than four percent. Up to 30 percent of the children who survive the disease, however, will be left with permanent damage to their kidneys. Children who recover usually do so quickly, while afflicted adults may experience longer recovery times since kidney damage is usually more extensive in adult cases.
Recent studies show that HUS caused by E. coli infection is now the most common cause of renal failure for children in the U.S. It is recommended that people who recover undergo long-term follow-up and observation to monitor for the potential onset of chronic kidney disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and chronic neurological damage.
Approximately 7,500 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. –similar to the rate of incidence for leukemia in the general population–but until all fifty states classify this as a reportable disease, an accurate rate of incidence will be impossible to determine.
Read about the symptoms.
Your child and your family have the right to sue corporate wrongdoers for compensation. You can call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or click here now to contact our lawyers and get your free consultation. If you hire our law firm, you will have no upfront costs, and we are not paid unless you win. Read the FAQ page.
We are a national law firm. Our lawyers help clients with personal injury and wrongful death claims involving E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome. We have over $50 million for clients who suffered kidney failure. You can click here now if you want a free consultation or call 1-888-377-8900.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with E. coli, you should contact our law firm using our free consultation form. It costs you nothing to talk to one of our lawyers, and we are one of three law firms in the U.S. that practices extensively in the area of food poisoning litigation. We know how to get answers and compensation for our clients.
A 26-year-old pregnant woman (31 weeks) contracted an E. coli O111 infection after eating at a restaurant in Japan (see number 6 below, Ito). After 4 days, she was admitted to the hospital with extremely bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal pain.
Upon admittance to the hospital, antibiotics were administered.
The baby was delivered by C-section at 32 weeks. Although small, the baby lived.
The mother, however, went into respiratory arrest and had a heart attack (cardiac arrest). Her resulting Glasgow Coma Scale score was 11. She was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome and put on hemodiafiltration and plasma exchange therapy.
The damage to her brain was significant. She had diffuse brain cortex damage and acute encephalopathy. When she emerged out of a coma on the 14th day after the C-section, she had to have rehabilitation to recover motor and cognitive functions.
Below are a few of the many articles on HUS in the scientific literature. Our lawyers do a lot of work in this area and keep up with the literature. You can contact one of our lead lawyers to discuss the issues raised in the articles below or your need for legal representation. Call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free) or submit our free consultation form to contact Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty, Ryan Osterholm or Eric Hageman. Because of the severity of this illness, our lawyers, upon invitation by the family, often visit clients in the hospital.
Our law firm has won lawsuits against national food and restaurant companies doing business in all 50 states: Alabama AL, Arkansas AK, California CA, Colorado CO, Connecticut CT, Delaware DE, District of Columbia DC, Florida FL, Georgia GA, Idaho ID, Illinois IL, Indiana IN, Iowa, Kansas KS, Kentucky KY, Louisiana LA, Maine ME, Maryland MD, Massachusetts MA, Michigan MI, Minnesota MN, Mississippi MS, Missouri MO, Montana MT, Nebraska NE, New Hampshire NH, New Jersey NJ, New York NY, North Carolina NC, North Dakota ND, Ohio OH, Oklahoma OK, Pennsylvania PA, Rhode Island RI, South Carolina SC, South Dakota SD, Tennessee TN, Texas TX, Vermont VT, Virginia VA, West Virginia WV, Wisconsin WI and Wyoming WY.