DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a condition that results from the abnormal premature destruction of red blood cells. Once this process begins, the damaged red blood cells start to clog the filtering system in the kidneys, which may eventually cause the life-threatening kidney failure associated with hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Most cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome develop in children after several days of diarrhea — often bloody — due to infection with a certain strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli). Adults also may develop hemolytic uremic syndrome after an E. coli infection, but more often the cause is obscure or even unknown.
Though hemolytic uremic syndrome is a serious condition, getting timely and appropriate treatment leads to a full recovery for most people — especially young children.
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