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Acute Kidney Failure (cont.)

Acute Kidney Failure Medications

The patient may be given medicines to treat the cause of the acute renal failure or to prevent complications.

  • Antibiotics: To prevent or treat infections
  • Diuretics (water pills): Quickly increase urine output
  • Other medications: To get rid of extra fluid and prevent electrolyte imbalances

Acute Kidney Failure Follow-up

The doctor will arrange follow-up visits as needed for the underlying cause of the kidney failure and the severity of the disease. Underlying condition(s) will be monitored and appropriate lab tests will be performed to be sure that the kidney failure has resolved. Preventive measures may be needed in some situations to prevent the problem from occurring again.

Acute Kidney Failure Prevention

Yearly physical exams by the doctor include blood tests and urinalysis to monitor kidney and urinary tract health.

Drink enough fluids to keep the kidneys functioning properly.

Avoid taking substances or medications that can poison or damage kidney tissues. Ask the doctor about substances to avoid.

Persons at risk for chronic kidney disease may need more frequent testing for kidney function and other problems that occur with declining kidney function. Difficulties urinating or blood in the urine should prompt a visit to the physician as soon as possible.

Acute Kidney Failure Prognosis

Recovery from acute kidney failure depends on what caused the disease. If the cause does not stem from damage to kidney tissue itself, the prognosis is good and the patient will probably make a full recovery. Partial recovery of renal function may occur in situations in which the injury does not completely resolve. In general, the more ill a patient is during the onset of renal failure, the worse the outcome. Severe cases of acute renal failure can result in death.

On long-term follow-up (1 to 10 years), approximately 12.5% of survivors of acute renal failure require dialysis and 19% to 31% of them have chronic kidney disease.

The in-hospital mortality (death) rate for acute kidney failure is 40% to 50%.

The mortality rate in patients in intensive care (ICU) settings with acute kidney failure that requires dialysis is 70% to 80%.

Support Groups and Counseling

American Association of Kidney Patients

American Kidney Fund

National Kidney Foundation

Medically reviewed by Michael Wolff, MD; American Board of Urology

REFERENCES:

"Bumex." RxList. Updated Mar. 20, 2012.

"Kayexalate." RxList. 15 May 2012.

"Lasix." RxList. Updated Apr 11, 2012.

"Medications." WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise. Updated Aug 6, 2009.

"Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)." Updated May 7, 2008.

Agrawal, Malay and Richard Swartz. "Acute renal failure." American Family Physician 61.7 (2000): 2077-2088.

Kathuria, Pranay and Melissa Conrad Stöppler. "Chronic Kidney Disease." eMedicineHealth. 23 Feb. 2010.

Workeneh, Biruh H., et al. "Acute Renal Failure." Medscape. 9 Feb. 2012.

Previous contributing authors and editors: Author: Rebecca J Schmidt, DO, FACP, Section Chief, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Section of Nephrology, West Virginia University School of Medicine and Medical Center. Coauthor(s): Robert C Harwood, MD, MPH, Program Director, Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Christ Hospital and Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical School. Editors: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS, Director, Center for Urologic Laparoscopy and Endourology, Associate Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Southern Illinois University; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Martin I Resnick, MD, Lester Persky Professor and Chair, Department of Urology; Professor, Department of Oncology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Acute Renal Failure »

Acute renal failure (ARF) or acute kidney injury (AKI), as it is now referred to in the literature, is defined as an abrupt or rapid decline in renal filtration function.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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