Acute kidney failure, also known as acute kidney injury (AKI), refers to a sudden and rapid decline in kidney function. It occurs when the kidneys are unable to effectively filter waste products and excess fluid from the blood. This condition can develop rapidly, usually over a few hours to a few days, and is often characterized by a significant decrease in urine production.
Acute kidney failure can be caused by various factors, including severe dehydration, blood loss, infections, medications, kidney obstruction, autoimmune disorders, and certain medical procedures. The condition is diagnosed by evaluating blood and urine tests, along with assessing the patient’s clinical symptoms.
Common symptoms of acute renal failure may include decreased urine output, fluid retention, fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion, nausea, and swelling in the legs, ankles, or around the eyes. It is a serious medical condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Treatment for acute kidney failure focuses on addressing the underlying cause and supporting kidney function. This may involve fluid and electrolyte balance, medications to manage blood pressure and treat infections, and in some cases, dialysis or other renal replacement therapies to temporarily assist kidney function until it recovers.
Early recognition and prompt treatment of acute kidney failure are essential to prevent further kidney damage and improve patient outcomes. With proper medical management, many cases of acute renal failure can be reversed, allowing the kidneys to recover their normal function. However, in severe cases or if the underlying cause is not promptly addressed, it can lead to chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease, which may require long-term dialysis or kidney transplantation for ongoing management.