It is defined as a rapid deterioration in renal functions sufficient to result in an accumulation
of waste products in the body.
The availability of dialysis has transformed kidney failure from a fatal disease to a chronic one. Kidney failure may also result from disease affecting the kidneys themselves. In many people, no cause of acute kidney failure can be identified. It is a serious disease and treated as a medical emergency. In both children and adults, kidney failure can lead to weaker, abnormal bones. As fluids build up in the bloodstream, the patient with acute kidney failure may become puffy and swollen (edematous) in the face, hands, and feet. Their blood pressure typically begins to rise, and they may experience fatigue and nausea.
Acute kidney failure is the sudden loss of the ability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes. It occurs in about 5% of people who are hospitalized for any reason. It is even more common in those receiving intensive care. The kidneys stop working when illness or injury keeps them from filtering properly. In kidney failure, these bacteria and salts build up and can have bad effects on the heart, brain, lungs, and other organs. Acute kidney failure tends to occur after complicated surgery, after a severe injury or when blood flow to your kidneys is disrupted. It is a clinical syndrome characterized by a sudden decrease in glomerular filtration rate, often to values of less than 1 to 2 ml per minute. In children, kidney failure affects the growth of bones.
Acute kidney failure is most common in people who are already hospitalized, particularly people who need intensive care. Acute kidney failure can be serious and generally requires intensive treatment. Acute kidney failure appears most frequently as a complication of serious illness, like heart failure ,liver failure, dehydration , severe burns , and excessive bleeding (hemorrhage). It may also be caused by an obstruction to the urinary tract or as a direct result of kidney disease, injury, or an adverse reaction to a medicine. Many causes of kidney failure can be treated, and kidney function may recover. High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of chronic kidney failure.
Causes of Acute Kidney Failure
The comman causes of Acute Kidney Failure include the following:
- Decreased blood flow, which may occur with extremely low blood pressure caused by trauma, surgery, serious illnesses, septic shock, hemorrhage, burns, or dehydration.
- Autoimmune kidney disease such as interstitial nephritis or acute nephritic syndrome.
- Urinary tract infections.
- Over-exposure to metals, solvents, radiographic contrast materials, certain antibiotics, and other medications or substances.
- Accidental kidney damage.
- Renal - Problems with the kidney itself that prevent proper filtration of blood or production of urine.
- Chronic kidney disease may also result from long-term exposure to toxic chemicals or to drugs, including certain illegal drugs, such as heroin.
Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure
Some sign and symptoms related to Acute Kidney Failure are as follows:
- Decreased sensation , especially in the hands or feet.
- Decrease in amount of urine ( oliguria ).
- Seizures or coma in severe cases.
- Prolonged bleeding.
- Abdominal pain.
- Nausea or vomiting, may last for days.
- Swelling, especially of the legs and feet.
- Pain on one side of the back, just below the rib cage and above the waist (flank pain).
- Crush injuries. If large amounts of muscle are damaged there is a release of toxic protein substances that are harmful to the kidneys.
- Bloody stools.
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Flank pain (between the ribs and hips).
Treatment of Acute Kidney Failure
Here is list of the methods for treating Acute Kidney Failure:
- Prerenal conditions may be treated with replacement fluids given through a vein, diuretics , blood transfusion , or medications.
- You may need antibiotics to treat or prevent infection. Diuretics ("water pills") may be used to help the kidneys lose fluid.
- Dialysis may be needed, and can make you feel better.
- You may be given specific dietary modifications to reduce build-up of toxins normally handled by the kidneys, including a diet plan high in carbohydrates and low in protein , salt, and potassium .
- A variety of different medications may be used, including IV ( intravenous ) calcium, glucose/insulin, and oral or rectal administration of potassium exchange resin (Kayexalate).
- You may also need to limit the potassium in your diet because it may be hard for your body to get rid of extra potassium.