Tag Archives: renal failure

Chuck Machado

Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family Resources to cope with Renal Failure

Family ResourcesFamily resources are the main way people deal with kidney disease. When the kidney’s filtration process is compromised its ability to remove the body’s waste from the blood is ineffective. The result of which can lead to the accumulated of toxins in the body, presence of protein in the urine and reflects relatively high numeric figures in the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Some kidney failure can be acute, which is treatable while other causative factors can lead to the development of chronic renal failure.

When the kidneys do not function well, patients may be advised to undergo dialysis. Dialysis is an artificial alternative to filter the waste in the blood. The mechanical filtration removes the excess water as well as metabolic wastes just like the what the kidneys. However, patients undergoing dialysis can face up to a number of challenges, which can be fatal. This is the point where family resources really come into play.

Drop in Blood Pressure

In the dialysis, the water is mechanically removed from the body following certain rate. However, when there are instances when the speed of water filtration during dialysis can cause the blood pressure to fall. The drop in B/P can cause fatigue, chest pain, irritability, and fainting, temporary loss of vision. In this case, the hemodialysis is stopped, and patient’s legs are elevated with their head down to increase the cardiac filling.


During the ultrafiltration process, patients may experience cramps towards the end of the hemodialysis. This happens where there is a significant amount of water is removed from the body. This is managed by immediately restoring the intravascular volume though isotonic saline like the 0.9% saline solution given in small boluses.

Family resources will involve driving the kidney patient to and from dialysis as well as helping to prepare meals. The sheer inability to cope with the effects of dialysis may frighten many, but the shock to the body has an expected outcome. Be patient, be kind and understanding as you undertake assistance to a family member.


Patients with fistulas may experience bleeding, which can add up to their stress level during their dialysis session. In instances where there is positive bleeding, the clinic can provide special bandages to stop the bleeding quickly.


Although all the dialysis clinics follow the highest standard of patient care and hygiene practices, but there are still risks for infection. The point of entry can be the dialysis catheter when it is compromised or when it comes out from where it is embedded. Infection is managed by antibiotic when it is positively traced.

Fluid overload

Patients undergoing dialysis are provided with the accurate volume of water consumption during the dialysis session. Drinking too much water in between sessions can cause water overload. Fluid overload can be fatal; it can cause pulmonary edema or heart failure.

Once the functions of the kidneys are upset patients are managed by the artificial means, which is through dialysis. This management can take a lifetime unless the organ is replaced by another kidney. On the other hand, patients can forget about dialysis when the kidneys are functioning well

End Stage Renal Failure

End Stage Renal Failure

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Dr Lisa

End Stage Renal Failure

End Stage Renal FailureEnd Stage Renal Failure is the failure of kidney to function properly. Renal failure has two types. These are acute and chronic renal failure.
Acute renal failure (ARF) is sudden-onset renal failure with failure of excretion of the products of nitrogen metabolism, water, electrolytes and failure to maintain osmotic and acid-base balance. These changes are the result of acute severe impairment of renal blood flow, GFR and tubular re-absorption, usually all occurring at the same time.
Acute renal failure occurs when both kidneys suddenly stop working.
Chronic renal failure/ Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when renal failure damage persist and kidneys are permanently damaged. It is most of the times the acute renal failure which fails to recover and then progresses to the chronic renal failure.
Acute renal failure may occur for various reasons, including structural diseases of kidney, partial or complete blockage of the urinary tract and the reduction of blood volume, for example, after a severe blood loss. Symptoms may develop over several days: urine output may decrease sharply, and the fluid to be excreted is stored entirely in the tissues resulting in edema and weight gain, particularly in the dependent areas e.g. legs.
Causes of acute renal failure are divided into three groups.
– Pre-renal Acute Renal Failure (ischemic)
•    Kidney shock (trauma, loss of fluid, solid tissue decay, hemolysis, septic shock, cardiogenic shock).
•    Loss of extracellular volume (gastric or urinary loss of fluid, burns).
•    Loss of intravascular volume or re-distribution (sepsis, bleeding, hypo-albuminemia).
•    Decreased cardiac output (heart failure , cardiac tamponade, cardiac surgery).
•    Other causes of decreased GFR (hypercalcaemia, hepatorenal syndrome).
– Renal Acute Renal Failure.
•    Exogenous intoxication (kidney damage by poisons used in industry and everyday life, bites of poisonous snakes and insects, intoxication with drugs and radio-opaque substance).
•    Acute infectious renal intoxication due to indirect and/or direct effects on the kidneys
•    Renal vascular lesions (hemolytic uremic syndrome, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, scleroderma, systemic necrotizing vasculitis, thrombosis of arteries or veins, atherosclerotic emboli in severely atherosclerotic main vessels – especially the aorta and renal arteries).
•    Open and closed kidney trauma.
•    Post-ischemic acute renal failure.
– Post-renal Acute Renal Failure.
•    Extra-renal obstruction in urinary tract (obstruction of the urethra, bladder tumor, prostatic cancer , pelvic masses, blockade in ureter due to stone, pus, blood clots etc. Kidney stones, tubular blockade by urate in the natural course of leukemia, myeloma, gouty nephropathy, treatment with sulfonamides, ligation of the ureter during surgery)

Dr. Lisa