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Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

What is Acute Kidney Injury?

Acute Kidney Injury refers to the abrupt deterioration in kidney function that happens within few hours or few days. AKI results in the accumulation of waste products in your blood and therefore makes it tough for your kidneys to maintain right balance of fluid in your body. It can also affect other organs in your body like brain, heart and lungs.

Acute Kidney Injury normally happens as a complication of another serious illness and can range from minor loss of kidney function to full kidney failure. AKI usually occurs in older people who are suffering from other medical conditions but their kidneys are also affected due to this.

What are the causes of Acute Kidney Injury?

There are several causes for Acute Kidney Injury to occur, namely:

  • Decreased blood flow to your kidneys can cause AKI. It can happen due to low blood pressure, blood or fluid loss, heart attack, heart failure, organ failure, overuse of medicines like NSAIDs, allergic reactions, burns and major surgery.
  • Direct damage to kidneys can lead to AKI and it can happen due to sepsis, cancer called multiple myeloma, inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), allergic reaction to certain drugs (interstitial nephritis), scleroderma etc.
  • Blockage of urinary tract often results in AKI due to bladder, prostate or cervical cancer, enlarged prostate, kidney stones and blood clots in urinary tract.
What are the symptoms of Acute Kidney Injury?

The signs and symptoms experienced by a patient of AKI are:

  • Decreased urine output
  • Swelling in legs and ankles
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Confused state of mind
  • High Blood pressure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Backache
  • Fluid build-up in body
How can Acute Kidney Injury be treated?

The treatment for Acute Kidney Injury involves treating the underlying cause first so that kidneys can recover soon. You may be required to stay in the hospital till the underlying cause is cured and your recover get normal. In severe cases, dialysis may be done to replace kidney function till the time your kidneys recover properly.