Acute kidney failure is a condition in which the kidney fails to eliminate the waste products, excess salts and fluids from the body. As a result the electrolytes and fluids in the body increase to dangerously high levels. Also, the waste materials accumulate in the body, which becomes life-threatening to the patient.
Acute kidney failure is also known as acute renal failure or acute kidney injury. People who are seriously ill are at a greater risk of developing acute kidney failure.
The symptoms of acute kidney failure are:
There are several causes for acute kidney failure. The most common causes are listed below:
Conditions which decrease the blood flow to the kidneys can damage the kidneys and may result in acute kidney failure. They are:
Clotting of the blood vessels that supply blood to the kidneys can also cause acute kidney failure. This is seen in the following conditions:
Acute kidney failure can result from infections such as pyelonephritis or septicemia. It can develop within few hours or it may take several days.
The risk factors of acute kidney failure are:
If the symptoms of acute kidney failure are noticed, then consult the doctor for confirmation of the condition. Check with the doctor especially if the urine output is very low or nil. Also, if the risk of developing acute kidney failure is high, then go for regular checkups to a doctor.
Physical examination includes checking for crackling sounds in the lungs which indicate fluid retention. The doctor may perform the below mentioned tests to check the kidney function and the underlying cause of acute kidney failure:
Imaging tests such as a kidney or abdominal ultrasound, x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans are helpful in identifying the blockages in the urinary tract.
As acute kidney failure is a critical condition, it needs an intensive treatment in the hospital. However, proper health management may also help in faster recovery. The goal of the treatment is to prevent the accumulation of the wastes and fluids by restoring the functioning of the kidneys.
Treatment is based on the cause of acute kidney failure.
Acute kidney failure can end up in the below complications if a timely treatment is not available:
The below measures can help to prevent the development of acute kidney failure:
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