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Kidney Injury

What is a kidney injury?

Kidney injuries include bruises, cuts, and tears of the kidneys. The kidneys are inside the belly, on either side of the spine just above the waist. They make urine by taking waste products and extra salt and water from the blood. Small tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine. Urine then goes out of the body through a tube called the urethra.

What is the cause?

Common causes of kidney injuries are:

  • Car accident
  • Bicycle accident
  • A hit to the upper belly or back from a fall or punch

Guns or knives can also injure the kidney.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • Bruising or pain in the back
  • Blood in the urine

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and examine your child. Tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays
  • CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to show detailed pictures of the kidneys

How is it treated?

Most kidney injuries do not need surgery. Your child may need to rest in bed for a day or two while the kidney heals.

Your child may need surgery if:

  • Your child has a gunshot wound or stab wound.
  • The kidney is badly damaged.
  • Your child has bleeding that doesn’t stop.

How can I take care of my child?

If your child has pain, give acetaminophen. Check with your healthcare provider before you give any medicine that contains aspirin or salicylates to a child or teen. This includes medicines like baby aspirin, some cold medicines, and Pepto-Bismol. Children and teens who take aspirin are at risk for a serious illness called Reye's syndrome. Do not give your child ibuprofen (Advil) unless your healthcare provider says that it is OK.

Make sure your child drinks plenty of liquids.

Follow your child’s healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your provider:

  • How and when you will hear your child’s test results
  • How long it will take for your child to recover
  • What activities your child should avoid and when your child can return to normal activities
  • How to take care of your child at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if your child has them

Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2013-03-11
Last reviewed: 2012-10-08
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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