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Discharge Instructions for Acute Kidney Injury

You have been diagnosed with acute kidney injury. This means that you have had a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage that causes your kidneys not to work correctly. When both kidneys are healthy, they help filter out fluid and waste from the blood and body. Acute kidney injury has many causes. These include urinary blockages, infection, lack of enough blood supply, and medicines that can injure kidneys. In some cases, acute kidney injury is short-term (temporary). This type lasts several days to a few months. This is because the kidney can repair itself. Acute kidney injury can also result in chronic kidney disease or end stage renal failure. Here are some directions for you to follow as you recover.

Home care

  • Follow any directions for eating and drinking given to you by your healthcare provider.

    • Drink less fluid, if directed by your healthcare provider.

    • Keep a record of everything you eat and drink.

  • Measure the amount of urine and stool you have each day.

  • Weigh yourself every day, at the same time of day, and in the same kind of clothes. Keep a daily record of your daily weights.

  • Take your temperature every day. Keep a record of the results.

  • Learn to take your own blood pressure (BP). Your healthcare provider can teach you how to correctly measure your BP. Keep a record of your results. Bring the record to your follow-up appointments. Ask your healthcare provider when you should seek emergency medical attention. Your provider will tell you what blood pressure reading is dangerous.

  • Stay away from people who have infections. This includes people with colds, bronchitis, or skin conditions.

  • Practice good personal hygiene. Wash your hands often. This is especially important if you have a catheter in place when you leave the hospital. Doing so helps keep you safe from infection.

  • Take your medicines exactly as directed.

  • You may need frequent blood and urine tests. These are done to keep track of your kidney function.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Signs of bladder infection, such as urinating more often, burning or pain when you pee, pain above your pubic bone, blood in your urine, or trouble starting your urine stream

  • Signs of infection around your catheter, such as redness, swelling, warmth, or fluid leaking

  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain, such as 3 pounds or more in 24 hours or 6 pounds or more in 7 days

  • Fever above 100.4° F ( 38°C ) or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Muscle aches

  • Night sweats

  • Very little or no urine output

  • Swelling of your hands, legs, or feet

  • Back pain

  • Abdominal (belly) pain

  • Extreme tiredness

Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Walead Latif MD
Date Last Reviewed: 12/1/2022
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