Acute Renal Failure Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Acute Renal Failure?
Acute Renal Failure (ARF) is a sudden and potentially life-threatening decline in the functioning of the kidneys. This can occur from a variety of causes such as dehydration, infection, drugs or toxins, or any condition that affects blood flow to the kidneys. ARF can lead to a build up of waste products in the body, electrolyte imbalance (e.g., potassium levels), and fluid overload. If left untreated, it can result in permanent damage to the kidneys and even death.The symptoms of ARF vary depending on its cause and severity; however, some common signs include fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion/disorientation, nausea/vomiting and decreased urine output. If these symptoms are left untreated they can progress to more serious complications such as seizures or coma due to severe electrolyte imbalances or fluid overload. Diagnosis is typically made through physical exam and lab tests which measure creatinine levels (a waste product excreted by the kidneys), urine output rate, electrolyte levels (specifically potassium), BUN (blood urea nitrogen), creatinine clearance test results etc. In some cases imaging studies may also be used for further evaluation such as ultrasound or MRI scans. Treatment for ARF includes aggressive intravenous hydration with fluids such as normal saline solution or Ringer’s lactate solution; this is important for maintaining adequate blood volume levels and preventing compications such as shock due to low blood pressure. Medications may also be prescribed if an underlying cause exists like an infection; antibiotics would be given for bacterial infections while antivirals may be given for viral infections like hepatitis A. Hemodialysis may also be needed in severe cases where kidney function has become too impaired to adequately cleanse the body’s blood supply; dialysis helps remove toxins from circulation thus reducing their harmful effects on vital organs like brain , heart etc. In addition dietary modifications may be necessary including reducing protein intake , sodium intake , avoiding high potassium foods etc. Although acute renal failure is a serious medical condition that requires prompt attention it is possible to make a full recovery if treated quickly enough with proper medical care along with lifestyle modifications where necessary.