What are the healthcare needs of AKI patients?

  • Patients need to be risk assessed for the possible development of AKI. If there is an increased AKI risk preventive measures should be administered and the patients monitored such that AKI may be detected early.
  • When AKI develops AKI appropriate generic care must be administered (e.g. fluid therapy).
  • A diagnosis should be reached through clinical assessment and investigation and specific therapy, aimed at treating an underlying cause (e.g. obstruction or nephritis), should be instituted rapidly. Specialist input from nephrology, critical care, urology or diagnostic services may be required and if so should be accessed in a timely way. This may require inter-hospital transfer.
  • If generic care and specific therapy does not reverse AKI, supportive care with renal replacement therapy (dialysis) will be required in a kidney or critical care unit.
  • Patients suffering from AKI require holistic, multidisciplinary care, with appropriate support and rehabilitation during recovery.
  • Many AKI survivors will have lasting kidney damage and require long-term follow up. A minority have severe irreversible kidney failure necessitating ongoing dialysis or transplantation.
  • In some patients AKI may be an end-of life event and such patients require appropriative palliative care.