Thursday, May 01, 2014

Kidney stone pain? When should you go to the hospital?

Passing a kidney stone can be painful but, to many peoples' surprise, is not always so.  Passing a kidney stone can on occasion be a life-threatening event, but this is rare.  So when do you need to panic and run to the ER.  

  • Passing a stone if you only have one kidney (or one functioning kidney) is life-threatening
  • Passing a stone while having a fever can result in a life-threatening blood infection
  • Passing stones from both kidneys at the same time can result in a life-threatening condition
  • Passing a stone and at the same time no longer producing any urine can be a sign of a life-threatening condition
  • Passing a stone and being unable to keep down any food or drink due to nausea requires a visit to the hospital ER
  • Passing a stone with such severe pain that you cannot tolerate it without IV pain killers requires a trip to the ER

Other than that, passing a kidney stone can often be managed as an outpatient.

Of course, consult your own doctor first!

Dr Schoor