Acute kid­ney in­jury rates on the rise

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE -

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.”

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