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What Are the Suggested Treatments for Acute Renal Insufficiency?

by Leigh A. Zaykoski
  • Overview

    Acute renal insufficiency must be treated quickly to prevent permanent kidney damage
    Acute renal insufficiency is a sudden decline in kidney function. This decline occurs very rapidly, allowing dangerous waste products to build up in the blood. Immediate treatment prevents additional kidney damage and improves the prognosis for this condition.
  • Disease

    Acute renal insufficiency is caused by kidney damage or decreased blood flow to the kidneys. This condition is diagnosed with blood tests that determine the levels of electrolytes and waste products in the blood.
  • Significance

    Immediate treatment for this condition is important because it improves the chances that kidney damage can be reversed. During treatment, wastes are filtered from the blood and electrolyte and fluid balances are restored.
  • Treatment Options

    Hemodialysis is used to artificially filter the blood so the kidneys can recover. You may be asked to limit your intake of fluids, sodium, and protein so that the kidneys do not have to work as hard to filter fluid and wastes. Medications are given to restore potassium levels to normal.
  • Risks & Side Effects

    Hemodialysis may cause heart arrythmias, low blood pressure, decreased partial pressure of blood oxygen and an increased risk of infection. Medications used to restore potassium levels to normal can cause constipation, vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, headache, weakness, muscle pain and fatigue.
  • Prognosis

    The National Institutes of Health reports that it may take several weeks or months for the kidneys to start working again after acute renal insufficiency. If treatment was not administered quickly, the kidney damage may persist, and chronic renal failure may develop.

    References & Resources