Acute kidney injury rates on the rise
A NEW study shows rates of acute kidney Injury (AKI) among Irish patients have more than doubled in the past 10 years.
An increase in the number of elderly patients in the health system and a larger proportion of people with poorer kidney function are contributing to a rise in cases of sudden and often temporary loss of kidney function.
Researchers at the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick, said causes include severe dehydration, acute illnesses like pneumonia, blood loss or even certain medications like anti-inflammatory drugs. In the long term, patients who suffer an AKI are more prone to kidney failure and early death.
Professor Austin Stack, lead author, said: “Our study has uncovered a huge surge in AKI rates over the past 10 years. We tracked over 450,000 patients in the Irish health system from 2005 to 2014 and identified more than 40,000 episodes of AKI. We found that the overall rate of AKI increased from 5.5pc to 12.4pc, which was a growth of 126 pc.”
He added: “Key strategies to prevent AKI include: greater public and physician awareness and education; early identification of high-risk individuals; early detection of AKI in all clinical settings using electronic alert systems; early use of treatment strategies including prevention of dehydration; avoidance of drugs that damage the kidneys; and early referral to kidney specialists.”