Overview

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a condition caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells. The damaged red blood cells clog the filtering system in the kidneys, which can lead to life-threatening kidney failure.

HUS usually develops in children after five to 10 days of diarrhea — often bloody — caused by infection with certain strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Adults also can develop HUS due to E. coli or other types of infection, certain medications, or pregnancy.

HUS is a serious condition. But timely and appropriate treatment leads to a full recovery for most people, especially young children.