What is Acute Renal Failure?
Acute renal failure is when the kidneys suddenly lose their function over a short period of time, and are unable to remove salt, water and waste products from the bloodstream.
There are three main causes of acute renal failure: there are problems affecting the flow of blood to the kidneys, problems affecting the kidneys themselves, and problems affecting the flow of urine from the kidneys.
How common is Acute Renal Failure?
Acute kidney failure occurs in about 5% of people who are hospitalised for any reason. It is even more common in those receiving intensive care.
What are the symptoms of Acute Renal Failure?
Symptoms will vary from person to person, but include passing a small amount of urine or none at all, discoloured urine, puffiness in the feet and legs, tiredness and vomiting. Severe acute renal failure may cause seizures or a coma.
How is Acute Renal Failure treated?
Most causes of acute renal failure can be treated and the kidney function will return to normal with time. Treatment aims to remove the cause of acute renal failure, and keep the amount of salts and minerals at the correct levels whilst the kidneys recover. This may involve intravenous fluids, diuretics, steroids, and surgery or dialysis in severe cases.
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