Acute kidney injury
Acute kidney injury(AKI) is sudden damage to the kidneys that causes them to not work properly. It can range from minor loss of kidney function to complete kidney failure.
AKI normally happens as a complication of another serious illness. It's not the result of a physical blow to the kidneys, as the name might suggest.
This type of kidney damage is usually seen in older people who are unwell with other conditions and the kidneys are also affected.
It's essential that AKI is detected early and treated promptly. The role of the kidneys is to:
Without quick treatment, abnormal levels of salts and chemicals can build up in the body, which affects the ability of other organs to work properly.
If the kidneys shut down completely, this may require temporary support from a dialysis machine, or lead to death.
In the early stages of AKI, there may not be any symptoms.The only possible warning sign may be that the person isn't producing much urine, although this isn't always the case.
Most cases of AKI are caused by reduced blood flow to the kidneys, usually in someone who is already unwell with another health condition.
AKI can be diagnosed after measuring urine output and doing blood tests. Blood levels of creatinine a chemical waste product produced by the muscles will be measured. Healthy kidneys filter creatinine and other waste products from the blood and these are excreted, in the form of urine.
Treatment of AKI depends on the underlying cause and extent of illness. In most cases, treating the underlying problem will cure the AKI. GPs may be able to manage mild cases in people who aren't already in hospital.
Those at risk of AKI should be monitored with regular blood tests if they become unwell or start new medication. It's also useful to check how much urine you're passing.
Complications of an acute kidney injury need to be dealt with immediately in a hospital setting under rigorous medical supervision. Some of the complications are high levels of potassium in the blood, fluid in the lungs, etc.