Acute Pyelonephritis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Acute pyelonephritis is a kidney infection caused by bacteria. The infection may start lower in the urinary tract, such as in your bladder. The infection then travels up the urinary tract to one or both kidneys.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Acute pyelonephritis may cause long-term kidney damage or kidney failure. The infection could spread to your other organs or blood. This can be life-threatening. You can get high blood pressure if the infection is not treated. You could also get a kidney abscess (pus-filled pocket).

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics treat your infection. They may be given as a pill or IV.

  • Prescription pain medicine may help decrease your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

  • Nausea medicine will help calm your stomach and control vomiting.

Tests:

  • Blood tests will be done to monitor your condition.

  • Urine tests will be done to check your infection and monitor your condition.

  • An x-ray takes pictures of your urinary system. An x-ray may be done to show problems with your intestines, kidneys, or abdomen.

  • An ultrasound uses sound waves to show pictures on a monitor. An ultrasound may be done to show an infection, abscess, or other problems in your kidneys.

  • A CT scan , or CAT scan, is a type of x-ray that uses a computer takes pictures of your urinary system. The pictures may show infection or problems in areas other than your kidneys. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatment:

  • You may be limited to clear liquids as you heal. Clear liquids include water, broth, apple juice, or lemon-lime carbonated drinks. You may also suck on ice chips or eat gelatin.

  • You may need surgery if a ureter is blocked. The ureter is the tube that takes urine from a kidney to the bladder. A blocked ureter can cause repeated kidney infections.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Acute Pyelonephritis (Inpatient Care)

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