Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a sudden reduction in glomerular filtration rate which occurs when the kidneys unexpectedly stop working normally. This results in elevations in serum creatinine (SCr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and electrolyte levels (Okusa and Rosner, 2019). The kidneys are responsible for the removal of waste products and the balance of water, salt and other minerals in the blood. When these roles are not performed efficiently by the kidneys, there is a buildup of toxic substances which leads to problems.
Acute Kidney Injury is caused by a sudden blockage by kidney stones, tumors or enlarged prostate which stops urine from flowing freely. It is also caused by heavy blood loss, volume restriction due to dehydration, infection, ingestion of nephrotoxic drugs, trauma, exposure to iodinated contrast agents during radiographic procedures and exposure to toxic substances or heavy metals.
Older adults, people with long term health problems (heart failure, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) and people who are in the Intensive Care Unit are at risk of having Acute Kidney Injury.
The symptoms of AKI are little or no urine volume, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, oedema, haematuria, restlessness, anxiety, confusion and sleepiness.
Laboratory Diagnosis of AKI involves the clinical chemistry analysis of normal blood and urine constituents (sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, creatine and urea)
AKI can be treated by correcting the underlying causes through the removal or bypass of blockages, stopping of medications and restoring blood flow. Antibiotics can be used to treat infection. Water-mineral balance can be maintained with appropriate medications. Kidney dialysis and kidney transplant are also effective in treating AKI.
AKI can be reversed by treatments and the person will have perfectly functioning kidneys. Whereas in few cases, the injury could develop into a permanent kidney damage, leading to Chronic Kidney Disease.
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