28 May 2019


Acute kidney failure arises when kidneys are unable to filter waste products from blood. Risky levels of wastes may assemble after losing the filtering ability. It is also called as Acute Renal Failure or Acute Kidney Injury. It might be fatal and it requires immediate serious treatment and care. This condition is also reversible and if treatment is done properly then kidneys might go back to normal working condition.


  1. Sudden damage to kidneys by –
    • Lack of blood flow to kidneys due to low BP, heavy blood loss, diarrhea, heart disease, liver failure etc
    • Injury in kidneys
    • Blockage in the ureters
    • Dehydration
    • Infection and severe allergic reaction
  2. Direct damage to kidneys by –
    • Infections
    • Certain medications used during chemotherapy and contrast dyes used during CT scans, MRI scans and other imaging tests
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Disorders of blood vessels
    • Cholesterol deposits affects blood flow
    • Blood clots in or around the kidneys
  3. Blockage in urinary tract by –
    • Some cancers such as bladder cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer
    • Kidney stones
    • Bladder problems
    • Enlarged prostate


  • Breathlessness, Chest pain or Pressure
  • Fatigue, Nausea and Weakness
  • Seizures or coma in serious cases
  • Inadequate urine
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles or feet

During serious complications:

  • Seizures or coma
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle Spasm and Muscle weakness
  • Permanent damage to kidneys
  • Fluid in lungs causing shortness of breath


  • Imaging tests like ultrasound and CT to detect kidney failure
  • Urine test to understand abnormalities leading to kidney failure
  • Blood tests to see the levels of urea and creatinine
  • Urine output measurements
  • Kidney tissue sample for testing


  • Balancing the fluids in blood – Intake of Intravenous fluids is recommended if there is lack of fluids in the blood. Although it can also cause swelling of arms and legs.
  • Medications to control potassium levels in blood – Calcium, glucose or sodium polystyrene sulfonate is prescribed when the potassium level increases in the blood as it leads to irregular heartbeats and weakness.
  • Medications to restore blood calcium levels – Infusion of calcium is recommended, if the calcium levels in the blood drops down.
  • Dialysis – Temporary hemodialysis is done to remove the toxins from the blood to extract excess fluid from the body


  • Blood vessels blockage in arms or legs
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Diseases: Diabetes, Kidney diseases, Liver diseases, and certain cancers


  • Globally 10% of the population gets affected by the kidney failure and millions die every year because of unaffordable treatment.
  • Number of kidney failure will increase in the upcoming years disproportionately, especially in the developing countries like China and India, estimated as per the survey.

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