Acute kidney failure

ARTICLES, Conditions & Diseases, HEALTH

Acute kidney failure, also known as acute kidney injury (AKI), is a sudden episode of kidney dysfunction that results in the kidneys being unable to filter waste products from the blood effectively. This condition can develop rapidly, within a few hours or days, and can lead to the accumulation of waste products in the blood, which can be life-threatening if not managed promptly.


Acute kidney failure can result from various conditions and factors, including:

  1. Decreased Blood Flow to the Kidneys:
    • Severe dehydration
    • Blood loss from surgery or injury
    • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
    • Heart attack or heart failure
  2. Direct Damage to the Kidneys:
    • Infections
    • Toxins or certain medications (e.g., antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
    • Severe muscle injury (rhabdomyolysis)
    • Autoimmune diseases
  3. Blockage of the Urinary Tract:
    • Kidney stones
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Tumors


The symptoms of acute kidney failure can vary depending on the underlying cause and severity but often include:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Swelling in legs, ankles, or feet due to fluid retention
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain or pressure


Diagnosing acute kidney failure typically involves:

  1. Medical History and Physical Exam: Assessing the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and potential exposure to toxins or medications.
  2. Laboratory Tests:
    • Blood tests to measure levels of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN), indicators of kidney function.
    • Urine tests to check for abnormalities.
  3. Imaging Tests:
    • Ultrasound or CT scan to visualize the kidneys and detect obstructions or structural issues.


The treatment of acute kidney failure focuses on addressing the underlying cause and supporting the kidneys until they recover. This may include:

  1. Fluid Management: Adjusting fluid intake to avoid dehydration or fluid overload.
  2. Medications: Managing blood pressure, electrolytes, and treating infections.
  3. Dialysis: Temporary dialysis may be necessary to remove waste products and excess fluids from the blood if the kidneys are not functioning adequately.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: In some cases, dietary changes, such as limiting salt and protein intake, can help reduce the kidneys’ workload.


Preventing acute kidney failure involves managing risk factors and underlying conditions that can affect kidney function. Key preventive measures include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Monitoring and managing blood pressure
  • Avoiding excessive use of medications that can harm the kidneys
  • Regular check-ups for individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease


The prognosis for acute kidney failure varies depending on the severity and underlying cause. Many patients recover full kidney function if the condition is identified and treated promptly. However, severe cases can lead to chronic kidney disease or permanent kidney damage, requiring long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Acute kidney failure is a serious medical condition requiring immediate attention. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial for improving outcomes and preventing long-term complications. If you suspect acute kidney failure, seek medical attention immediately.


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B.Mendoza St., Sto.Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.