Kidney Failure

There are two types of kidney failure:

1. Acute ( Now called Acute Kidney Injury or AKI )
2. Chronic ( Now called Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD )

AKI is a temporary decline in kidney function which can most often be corrected. AKI may by caused by severe infections, extensive burns, severe diarrhea or vomiting, chemical or drug poisoning, surgery, injury or blockage of the kidneys. In most cases when the source of the problem is eliminated, normal kidney function resumes.

CKD, on the other hand, is a permanent condition, meaning that once it occurs, the kidneys cannot be made to function again.CKD may be the result of heredity, as with Polycystic Kidney Disease, or may be caused by prolonged medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Persons with severe chronic kidney disease are referred to as having End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). This term indicates that the patient must now rely on some type of medical treatment to help replace the loss of kidney function.

While at present there is no known cure for ESRD, significant advances in medical research afford today’s patient with two major treatment alternatives: Dialysis and Transplantation.

When CKD occurs, you will be referred to a nephrologist (physician specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease), who will discuss these treatments with you. In addition, you will also meet other professionals on the staff, each of whom will lend their expertise in providing comprehensive and individualised care. The treatment team includes nurses, technicians, social workers and dieticians. You will be an essential member of this team. It will be your responsibility to comply with the treatment plan and to keep the team informed of any symptoms or problems that may arise.