Acute Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure is a condition of sudden kidney failure. This condition can affect some or all of your kidney function.


Acute kidney failure is a condition of sudden decline in kidney function. This condition can be caused by a variety of causes, including lack of fluids, infection, or an obstruction to the outflow of urine. In general, acute kidney failure is a complication of other serious diseases. If not treated immediately, acute kidney failure can lead to the cessation of kidney function and endanger the life of the sufferer.


The causes of acute kidney failure are divided into three factors, namely prerenal, renal and post-renal factors. Below is the explanation.

1. Prerenal Factor

Prerenal factors are factors that cause worsening of kidney function before kidney organs. One of the most common causes of prerenal is hypovolemic shock, which is a condition of lack of fluids that reduces blood flow to the kidneys, for example due to severe bleeding or diarrhea. Examples of other causes are due to heart disease, burns, severe allergic reactions, etc.

2. Renal Factor

Renal factor means kidney failure occurs due to damage that occurs in the kidneys. Some disorders that can cause kidney damage directly are toxins, methanol and infections. Severe infectious conditions (sepsis), scleroderma, multiple myeloma malignancies, and various kidney diseases are also included in the renal factor.

3. Post-renal factors

Post-renal factor is a condition in which the kidneys can form urine well enough, but its flow in the urinary tract is obstructed. This can be found in tumors of the lower abdomen (eg prostate, cervix, or bladder) that cause urine to be blocked and cause kidney damage. Kidney stones can also cause obstruction to the flow of urine.

Risk Factor

Given the many possible causes of acute kidney failure, there are also various risk factors that have the potential to cause this condition. Some of them are:

  • Elderly (over 65 years old)
  • Blood pressure is too low/hypotension
  • Sepsis
  • Lack of fluids/hypovolemia, including difficulty in consuming fluids to meet daily fluid needs
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • vascular disease
  • Other chronic diseases, especially heart, liver, diabetes/diabetes
  • Use of nephrotoxic drugs (drugs that are toxic to the kidneys)


There are several symptoms of acute kidney failure that are usually felt by patients, namely:

  • The patient complains of nausea and vomiting
  • Leg swelling or generalized swelling
  • The patient shows pain in the abdomen
  • In renal impairment due to dehydration, the patient may show signs of diarrhea or active bleeding.
  • BAK a little
  • Fatigue
  • Hard to breathe
  • Diagnosis

Determination of the diagnosis of acute kidney failure is done through a medical interview and physical examination. A medical interview may indicate a history of fluid loss in the form of diarrhea or heavy bleeding. Patients may also complain of decreased urine output. In addition, physical examination may reveal signs of dehydration. Meanwhile, in severe renal impairment, a decrease in consciousness can be found. Laboratory examination also showed an increase in urea and creatinine.

Examination of kidney function is one of the main ways to diagnose acute kidney failure. Urine examination is also needed to determine the cause of kidney disorders. On ultrasound examination of the kidneys can be found various things, for example the presence of kidney stones or kidney swelling (hydronephrosis).


Treatment of acute kidney disease depends on the cause of the kidney disorder. Treatment of acute kidney failure generally requires hospitalization (hospitalization). If the cause is a lack of fluids, adequate fluid administration is necessary. In the case of obstruction to the flow of urine, action to free the blockage of flow needs to be done as soon as possible, for example by surgery.

Generally, a urinary catheter is required to monitor the amount of urine excreted.

In conditions of severe acute renal impairment, hemodialysis may be considered. Drugs to increase blood pressure, antibiotics, etc., can also be given according to the indication and cause of acute kidney failure.

In addition, the administration of drugs for acute kidney failure will depend on the cause. Drugs that may be given, for example:

  • Antibiotics
  • Medication to increase blood pressure
  • Infusion fluid


Here are some ways to prevent acute kidney failure that you can do:

Avoid the use of drugs that are toxic to the kidneys. All drugs must always be taken according to the rules, and hard drugs are taken under the supervision of a doctor

  • Avoid consuming bootleg alcohol
  • Drink enough water to prevent dehydration
  • Monitor the amount of urine each day. Yellowish clear urine indicates that the body has enough fluids
  • Check regularly if you have a chronic disease, to avoid kidney complications
  • Complications

This disease causes the kidneys to not work properly to get rid of the rest of the body's metabolism. This can lead to complications of acute kidney failure, such as:

  • A buildup of potassium in the blood, which can cause muscle weakness, paralysis, and heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Accumulation of fluid in the legs and lungs (causing shortness of breath)
  • Metabolic acidosis (blood is too acidic), which can cause nausea, vomiting, impaired consciousness, shortness of breath
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Dead

When to go to the doctor?

If symptoms of acute kidney failure occur, you should immediately consult a doctor. Generally, the symptoms that are easily noticed are little or very dark urine. Don't hesitate to chat directly with a urology specialist if you want to ask further questions about this disease.

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