What Is Acute Kidney Failure?

Acute kidney failure will happens when the kidneys gets sudden lose their ability to eliminate excess salts, fluids, and waste materials from the blood. This elimination is the core of your kidneys’ main function. Body fluids can rise to dangerous levels when kidneys lose their filtering ability. This condition will get cause to the electrolytes and waste material to accumulate in the body, which can also be life-threatening. Consult Nephrologists to get second opinion Acute kidney failure is also called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. It’s common in people who are already in the hospital. It may develop rapidly over a few hours. It can also develop over a few days to weeks. People who are critically ill and need intensive care have the highest risk of developing acute kidney failure.

Causes of Acute Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure can occur for many reasons. Among the most common reasons are:

  • Acute tubular necrosis (ATN)
  • Severe or sudden dehydration
  • Toxic kidney injury from poisons or certain medications
  • Autoimmune kidney diseases
  • Urinary tract obstruction

Reduced blood flow can damage the kidneys. The conditions that lead to decrease the blood flow to the kidneys are as follows:

Some infections, such as septicemia and acute pyelonephritis, can directly injure your kidneys.

Pregnancy can also cause complications that harm the kidneys, including placenta previa and placenta abruption.

Risk Factors for Acute Kidney Failure

Chance of acquiring acute kidney failure is greater than an older person or might have the following long-term health problems like :

Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure

The symptoms of acute kidney failure include:

  • Bloody stools
  • Breath odor
  • Slow, sluggish movements
  • Generalized swelling or fluid retention
  • Fatigue
  • Pain between ribs and hips
  • Hand tremor
  • Bruising easily
  • Changes in mental status or mood, especially if you’re older
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased sensation
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • A metallic taste in your mouth


If you have acute kidney failure, it may have the generalized swelling. The swelling is happened due to fluid retention.

Using a stethoscope, your doctor may hear crackling in the lungs. These sounds can signal fluid retention.

Results of laboratory tests may also show abnormal values, which are new and different from baseline levels. Some of these tests include:

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
  • Serum Potassium
  • Serum Sodium
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (Egfr)
  • Urinalysis
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Serum Creatinine

An ultrasound is preferred method for diagnosing the acute kidney failure. However, abdominal X-ray, abdominal CT scan, and abdominal MRI can help the doctor to determine if there’s a blockage in the urinary tract.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common cause of acute kidney injury?

There are three major causes of acute kidney injury:

  • A sudden and significant decrease in blood flow to the kidneys.
  • Blood flow to the kidneys can be reduced by excessive blood loss, an injury, or a severe infection known as sepsis.
  • Some medicines, poisons, or infections can cause harm.
  • A sudden blockage that prevents urine from draining from the kidneys.

How long does it take to recover from acute kidney injury?

The median time to recovery for patients with AKI-related kidney failure was 2 months (interquartile range, 1.2–3.5), with 95 percent recovering within 12 months.

What are the first signs of kidney problems?

Tiredness, a lack of energy or difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, dry and itchy skin, a desire to urinate more frequently, blood in your urine, foamy urine, and persistent puffiness around your eyes are all symptoms of kidney disease.