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.