Pyelonephritis is a disease which is caused by a bacterial infection that can affect one or both of the kidneys. It usually starts in the urethra, which is the tube that empties urine from the bladder, or in the bladder itself. The bacteria goes up to the kidneys from the bladder. Bacteria can also reach the kidneys from an infection somewhere else in the body.
Pyelonephritis can be serious because it can permanently damage the kidneys and the infection may enter the bloodstream.
What can someone expect in the hospital?
One may need to stay in the hospital because he:
- Has an abnormal urinary tract structure or a blockage that needs to be treated as soon as possible
- Needs medicine and fluid through an IV
- Is not able to take in enough fluids because of vomiting
- Is not able to urinate
- Has another medical condition, such as diabetes that is worsened by the kidney infection
Many things can be done when you are in the hospital to monitor, test, and treat your condition. They include:
Monitoring of Pyelonephritis
- You will be examined often by the hospital staff
- Your heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature will be examined regularly.
- Your blood oxygen level may be administered by a sensor that is attached to your finger or earlobe.
- Your fluid intake can be administered closely by keeping track of everything you eat and drink and any IV fluids you receive.
- You can have a small tube putted into your bladder through the urethra to drain and measure urine from the bladder.
Diagnosis of Pyelonephritis
Testing may include:
- A physical exam to check for pain in the kidney area
- Urine tests to check for bacteria or blood in your urine
- Blood tests to check for infections or other medical problems
- Blood, urine, or other tests to monitor how well your organs are functioning
- X-rays: Pictures of the inside of the urinary tract to check for kidney stones or abnormal urinary structures
- Ultrasound scan: In this, sound waves and their echoes are passed through your body from a small device that is held against your skin to create pictures of the inside of the urinary tract to examine kidney stones or abnormal urinary structures
Treatment of Pyelonephritis
The treatment for a kidney infection depends on your symptoms, how well you respond to treatment, your overall health, and any complications you may have.
- You will have a small tube (IV catheter) inserted into a vein in your hand or arm. This will allow for medicine to be given directly into your blood and to give you fluids, if needed.
- Your doctor may prescribe medicine to treat pain, treat the infection or prevent future kidney infections and treat nausea or other symptoms caused by the kidney infection
- If you have an abnormal urinary tract or stones in your urinary tract, you may need surgery to correct the problem.