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Kidney Injury

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KEY POINTS

  • A kidney injury is a bruise, cut, or tear of a kidney. The kidneys make urine by taking waste products and extra salt and water from the blood.
  • Most kidney injuries do not need surgery, but your child may need surgery if the kidney is badly damaged or bleeding.
  • Make sure that your child takes pain medicine as directed by your child’s healthcare provider. Ask if there are activities your child should avoid and when your child can return to normal activities.

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What is a kidney injury?

A kidney injury is a bruise, cut, or tear of a kidney. Injuries are usually either blunt blows to the body or penetrating injuries that enter through the skin.

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.

What is the cause?

Common causes of blunt kidney injuries involve blows to your back or belly such as:

  • Accidents or falls while playing a sport, at a job, in a car, or on a bicycle
  • A fight in which you are hit, kicked, or punched

Penetrating injuries that break the skin include being stabbed with a sharp object, or shot with a gun.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may include:

  • Bruising or pain in the back or side
  • 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 to repair or remove the kidney if:

  • The kidney is badly damaged
  • Your child has bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Your child has an open or stab wound of the kidney

How can I take care of my child?

Give your child pain medicine as directed by your healthcare provider. Don’t give your child ibuprofen unless your healthcare provider says that it’s OK. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may cause stomach bleeding and other problems.

Make sure your child drinks plenty of liquids.

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

  • How and when you will get your child’s test results
  • How long it will take for your child to recover
  • If there are 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. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2019.4 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2018-06-29
Last reviewed: 2018-06-29
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.
© 2018 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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