When there is severe impairment in the kidney functioning, dialysis is resorted to. It involves performing some of the kidney functions with the help of a machine that works towards fluid and waste removal from the body. This is often resorted to in cases of kidney disease or renal failure.
Hemodialyis: Here an artificial kidney does the task of waste removal. A minor surgery is performed to create an access for the blood vessels into the artificial kidney. Sometimes catheters might be inserted. Blood is transferred from your body and into the machine, which filters out waste products and excess fluids. The filtered blood is then passed back into your body. Hemodialysis is done about thrice a week.
Peritoneal dialysis: Here, the cleansing is done within the body where the peritoneal membrane is used. With catheters placed inside the abdomen, dialysis fluid (dialysate) is pumped into the abdominal cavity. Waste products and excess fluid move from the blood to the dialysis fluid; which is later drained out.
Septicemia is a life-threatening infection; where there is bacteria in the blood. This is a form of blood poisoning and the fatality rate is nearly 50%. It is also called a systemic inflammatory response syndrome or SIRS where the whole body is inflamed due to suspected infection. Severe sepsis leads to organ failure. Infections in the lungs, urinary tract or abdomen can lead to sepsis. Other conditions that can lead to septicemia are endocarditis, meningitis and osteomyelitis. Symptoms of sepsis begin with chills, high fever and rapid breathing. The condition worsens rapidly with hypothermia and low blood pressure setting in. There is very low urine output. Blood test for platelet count, CBC, blood gases and PTT are done. CSF culture is also done to diagnose sepsis. Treatment of septicemia involves hospitalization. IV fluids and medications are administered. Plasma is often given when clotting factors are affected. Dialysis and mechanical ventilation might be required to support the kidney and lung function.
Acute renal failure happens when the kidneys suddenly lose their ability to remove toxins from the urine. Typically the cause for a sudden kidney failure are acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and autoimmune kidney diseases. Other causes leading to kidney damage are acute pyelonephritis and septicemia. The symptoms indicating acute renal failure are changes in urination, lowered sensation in extremities and metallic taste in the mouth. Typical symptoms include nausea, blood in stools, swelling of feet and ankles, swelling of ankle or leg, fluid retention and fatigue. A person might also notice high blood pressure, nausea and reduced appetite. Change in mental alertness might be noticed.
A nephrologist will need to examine the patient and suggest further course of action. BUN test and blood tests for creatinine and potassium are done. Kidney ultrasound or MRI might be done to look for any stones, tumors or blockage. A person suffering acute kidney failure is hospitalized and the amount of liquid ingested in monitored. The diet has to be tailored to reduce proteins and salt. Diuretics might be prescribed for reducing fluid retention. In some cases, dialysis is done; especially when the potassium levels are abnormally high. The balance of body electrolytes is maintained.
Acute kidney failure is more common with older adults and those suffering kidney or liver disease, heart failure or diabetes. An abdominal surgery might also make you more susceptible to kidney failure. Severe dehydration, blood pressure medications and overuse of NSAIDs are other possible causes for renal failure. This condition can be life threatening if not treated in time. It can lead to chronic kidney failure or damage to the nervous system and the heart. The patient can develop very high blood pressure or loss of blood in the intestines leading to last-stage kidney disease. Treatment for kidney disease include antibiotics and iodine-based medications.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 24, 2019