Should I Go to the ER for a Kidney Infection?

Urinary Infections

Jul 30, 2021


Should I go to the ER for a kidney infection? Kidney infections occur when bacteria from your bowel enter your urinary tract, causing an infection that requires medical attention. However, you may not need to visit the emergency room for a kidney infection if your symptoms are not severe. If you do believe you’re having severe kidney infection symptoms, visit an emergency room as soon as possible. 

Check out the answers to other ER-related questions:

What are the common symptoms of a kidney infection?

If you have the following symptoms –– which are similar to basic urinary tract infection (UTI)  symptoms –– visit a nearby urgent care to treat the infection in a timely manner.

  • Frequent or urgent, painful urination
  • Cloudy, bad smelling, or bloody urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pressure in the pelvis
    • This could also be a sign of a bladder infection. 

Our Lakway, TX and Colorado Springs, CO urgent care facilities are fully equipped to help you treat your kidney infection symptoms. For late-night kidney infection symptoms, our 24-hour emergency room locations throughout Texas are also available to serve you. 

What should you do if you suspect a kidney infection? 

If you suspect you may have a kidney infection, don’t ignore it. These symptoms will not just go away on their own. A kidney infection that is left untreated can result in:

  • Kidney scarring
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • High blood pressure 
  • Blood poisoning (septicemia): If untreated, the bacteria from the kidney infection spreads into your bloodstream and can cause the infection to become life-threatening. 

A kidney infection is a serious condition that deserves prompt medical care. Visit a doctor or urgent care unless your symptoms are severe.

Severe kidney infection symptoms

Should I go to the ER for a kidney infection? Yes, if your symptoms are more advanced than those listed above. If you notice any of the following severe kidney infection symptoms, head to your nearest emergency room immediately:

  • Pain in your back, side, or groin
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • High fever
  • Shaking and chills 

Certain individuals including pregnant women, young children, or those with weakened immune systems may need more specialized care if exhibiting severe kidney infection symptoms. Feel free to call your primary care physician or nearest Complete Care facility if you have any questions on where to take your loved one for treatment. 

What can the ER do for a UTI or kidney infection?

1. Restore fluids in your body

Our bodies use water to flush out any bacteria. If you’re dehydrated, the bacteria in your body is more likely to clump together and multiply, causing infections. Your ER doctor may administer IV fluids directly into the bloodstream to help get rid of that pesky bacteria in a more timely manner. 

2. Prescribe antibiotics 

If you suspect you have a kidney infection, you will likely be prescribed an antibiotic straight away. Antibiotics will help to clear the infection from your body typically within a few days. The antibiotics can be administered in the forms of an oral medication or through an IV for more severe cases to ensure faster absorption into the body.

Once you return home from the emergency room, be sure to stay hydrated and use pain medication (ask your doctor what is okay to take) to help reduce any discomfort. 

Have a severe kidney infection? Head to a Complete Care ER facility ASAP!

If you’re ever questioning should I go to the ER for a kidney infection, don’t hesitate to stop by a Complete Care emergency facility for hospital-quality emergency care service. Our ER laboratories provide precise kidney function testing and urinalysis so we can get to the bottom of your kidney infection faster. 

Trust us to take complete care of you. We treat any and all medical emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit any of our emergency room locations in Texas and Colorado Springs today!

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