Acute kidney injury is sudden damage to the kidneys. In many cases it will be short term and your kidney function can continue to recover over time; however, long-term outcomes can vary from:
- Full recovery and normal kidney function
- Partial recovery with lower levels of kidney function, but no dialysis needed
- Permanent kidney damage that requires dialysis.
- People who have a history of acute kidney injury have a higher risk of chronic (permanent) kidney disease
Causes of acute kidney injury
The main causes are:
- Reduced blood supply to the kidneys (for example as a result of major blood loss , a heart attack and low BP), diarrhea, vomiting etc.
- damage to the actual kidney tissue caused by a drug, severe infection or radioactive dye
- obstruction to urine leaving the kidney (for example because of kidney stones or an enlarged prostate).
- People who have chronic kidney disease are also at increased risk of acute kidney injury.
Treating acute kidney injury
The goals of treatment are to:
- find and treat the cause of the acute kidney injury
- use medications to support the kidneys
- closely monitor the urine output and blood creatinine levels to assess kidney function.
- Severe acute kidney injury may require dialysis treatment for few weeks while the kidneys recover.