Escherichia Coli O157:H7 and HUS Kidney Failure

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a form of the E-coli bacterium which causes more severe illness than other types of E-coli. It has been known to cause hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a life threatening condition. While people of all ages can be infected and become ill because of E-coli O157:H7, young children and the elderly are more likely to develop HUS which may cause permanent kidney damage or death.

According to the Center for Disease Control, there are approximately 73,000 cases of infection and 60 deaths in the United States each year attributed to E-coli O157:H7.

Transmission of E-coli O157:H7 includes:

  • Undercooked ground beef
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • Unpasteurized juices
  • Salamis and other cured meats
  • Pizza
  • Contaminated raw vegetable products including sprouts, lettuce and spinach
  • Restaurants

Signs and symptoms of the infection include severe and acute bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps not accompanied by a fever. Diagnosis is made by a stool culture. Stool cultures are not standard procedure so you may need to ask your doctor to perform one.

Many times an outbreak of E-coli can be traced back to negligence during the manufacturing or packaging process, which could have been prevented. In other cases, it can be linked to workers at a restaurant, hospital, camp or prison who failed to comply with proper sanitary procedures such as hand washing.

For people who become ill with diarrhea and vomiting that do not require a hospital stay, it is difficult to file an E-coli lawsuit because the cost of pursing a legal claim may be far more than the damage award. However, in the case of patients who develop severe kidney problems such as HUS which may be a life-long condition, due to negligent food preparation or manufacturing, compensation for damages may be available.

The Farber Law Group
has more than 30 years experience in investigating and reviewing claims for serious injuries and illness sustained as a result of food poisoning which could have been prevented.  If you, a friend or family member have been diagnosed with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), kidney damage or other serious injury as a result of E-coli food contamination, contact us for a free case evaluation.