KIDNEY FAILURE, ACUTE
DESCRIPTIONAcute kidney failure is the sudden failure of the kidneys to function. This usually has a short, relatively severe course, but it is curable.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition, medications and treatment.
Surgery, if the cause can be corrected by surgery.
Hospitalization for fluid and electrolyte therapy and kidney dialysis (sometimes).
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSLittle or no urine output.
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss.
Mental changes, including irritability, drowsiness, stupor, or coma.
High or low blood pressure.
Unexplained bruising, bleeding spots under the skin, or spontaneous bleeding. The symptoms of the underlying cause (see below) will also be present.
CAUSESShock with very low blood pressure.
Blood poisoning (septicemia).
Congestive heart failure.
Fluid and electrolyte imbalance.
Severe accident with extensive muscle injury.
Obstruction of blood vessels that supply the kidney.
Kidney stones that obstruct both ureters or the urethra.
Use of certain medications, including anti-cancer drugs, kanamycin, amphotericin B, anti-convulsants, or excessive vitamin D.
Overdose of many poisons or drugs, especially mind-altering drugs.
Conditions in the kidney, or in other areas of the body, that cause your child's kidneys to stop functioning. This leads to a buildup of waste products in the blood and tissues. Underlying conditions include:
Having only one kidney; recent surgery; accidents with severe injuries; medical history of conditions affecting the kidney, such as diabetes or gout.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCENo specific preventive measures. Your child should avoid causes and risk factors when possible.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory blood counts, and blood and urine tests that measure kidney function and fluid and electrolyte balance.
EKG (See Glossary).
Needle biopsy (See Glossary) of kidneys.
X-rays of the abdomen, kidneys, ureters, and bladder to detect kidney stones.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSCongestive heart failure; increased risk of infections; chronic kidney failure.
If your child's underlying condition can be controlled and the kidney failure can be treated promptly, complete recovery is likely. If not, the disorder can lead to chronic kidney failure or death.
HOME CARENo specific instructions except those listed under other headings.
MEDICATIONMedications appropriate to control the underlying condition.
Antibiotics if infection develops.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Your child should rest in bed until the condition is cured. Then the child can resume normal activities as soon as symptoms improve.
DIET & FLUIDS
Your child's food and water intake must be rigorously controlled to prevent fluid and electrolyte imbalance, and to minimize buildup of body wastes.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes. This should not be a disabling or infectious disorder.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of kidney failure.
The following occurs during treatment:
-- Chills, fever, headache, or muscle aches.
-- Shortness of breath.
-- Unexpected bleeding from any body opening.