Renal failure, acute

Other names: Kidney failure, acute


Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of wastes may accumulate, and your blood's chemical makeup may get out of balance. Acute kidney failure — also called acute renal failure or acute kidney injury — develops rapidly over a few hours or a few days. Acute kidney failure is most common in people who are already hospitalized, particularly in critically ill people who need intensive care. Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, Acute kidney failure may be reversible.



  1. Impaired blood flow to the kidneys
  2. Damage to the kidneys
  3. Urine blockage in the kidneys


Complications: 1. Fluid buildup 2. Chest pain 3. Muscle weakness 4. Permanent kidney damage 5. Death


Prepare questions for your doctor such as:


Urine output measurements, Urine tests, Blood tests, Imaging tests, Removing a sample of kidney tissue for testing.


Treatment for Acute kidney failure typically requires a hospital stay and depends on the underlying cause. Treatments include balancing Fluids, controlling blood potassium levels, restoring blood calcium levels, and dialysis if needed.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies: Pay attention to labels when taking over-the-counter pain medications, work with your doctor to manage kidney problems, make a healthy lifestyle a priority.


  1. What is acute kidney failure?

Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from the blood.

  1. What are the symptoms of acute kidney failure?

Symptoms include decreased urine output, fluid retention, drowsiness, shortness of breath, confusion, nausea, and chest pain.

  1. What causes impaired blood flow to the kidneys leading to acute kidney failure?

Conditions such as blood loss, heart disease, infection, and severe dehydration can slow blood flow to the kidneys.

  1. How can damage to the kidneys cause acute kidney failure?

Conditions like glomerulonephritis, infection, medications, toxins (e.g., alcohol), and autoimmune disorders can damage the kidneys.

  1. What are the risk factors for acute kidney failure?

Risk factors include being hospitalized, advanced age, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and other medical conditions.

  1. What complications can arise from acute kidney failure?

Complications include fluid buildup in the lungs, chest pain from pericardial inflammation, muscle weakness due to electrolyte imbalances, permanent kidney damage requiring dialysis or transplant, and death.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding acute kidney failure?

By preparing questions about kidney function, diagnosis of kidney failure causes and treatment options.

  1. What tests are used to diagnose acute kidney failure?

Tests include urine output measurements, urine tests (urinalysis), blood tests for urea and creatinine levels imaging tests like ultrasound or CT scans.

  1. What treatments are available for acute kidney failure?

Treatments involve addressing the underlying cause of kidney failure and managing complications like balancing Fluids and electrolytes with medications or dialysis.

  1. How can one reduce the risk of developing acute kidney failure?

By paying attention to medication labels (especially pain relievers), managing existing medical conditions well (like diabetes or high blood pressure), and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.