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Kidney Infection


A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is a bacterial infection. The infection usually starts in your bladder or urethra and moves into your kidney. One or both kidneys may be infected.

Kidney, Ureters, Bladder


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.


  • Antibiotics treat your bacterial 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.


  • Blood tests will be done to monitor your condition.
  • Urine tests will be done to check your infection and monitor your condition.
  • 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 or ureters.
  • A voiding cystourethrogram , or VCUG, is an x-ray of your bladder and urethra. The pictures will show how well your bladder empties and if there is any blockage.
  • A CT scan , or CAT scan, may show infection or problems in your urinary tract. You may be given contrast liquid before the scan. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.


  • IV fluids may be needed to treat dehydration caused by nausea and vomiting.
  • Surgery may be needed 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.


A kidney infection may cause long-term kidney damage, kidney failure, or high blood pressure. The infection could spread to your other organs or blood. This can be life-threatening. You could also get a kidney abscess (pus-filled pocket).


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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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 Kidney Infection (Inpatient Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.