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Acute kidney injury: diagnosis, staging and prevention

Prevention and early recognition of acute kidney injury can improve outcomes for those affected. Pharmacists can help to review patients whose renal function is at risk of rapid deterioration 

By Sue Shaw, DPharm, MRPharmS, Adrian Coleman, DipClinPharm, MRPharmS, and Nick Selby, BMBS, MRCP

Illustration of the kidneys (3d4medical  Science Photo Library)

Around 20% of patients who are admitted to hospital acutely will develop acute kidney injury (AKI). The term describes a rapid deterioration in renal function and is characterised by reduced urine output and increased serum creatinine. The cause of AKI can be pre-renal (eg, hypovolaemia), intrinsic (eg, acute interstitial nephritis) or post-renal (eg, urinary obstruction).  

AKI is largely preventable and pharmacists should take steps to optimise medicines for patients at high risk of the condition. This can involve providing advice about avoiding potentially nephrotoxic medicines, monitoring renal function and reviewing medicines. 

Sue Shaw is renal pharmacist and Nick Selby is consultant nephrologist, both at Royal Derby Hospital. Adrian Coleman is renal pharmacist at Kent and Canterbury Hospital.


Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11098637

Readers' comments (5)

  • The lifelong learning question link does not work.


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  • Dear Sam, this is an old article and the module is closed now. Try our latest CPD modules here:

  • You mention the module is closed, why can we not read the article? The kidney is the same now as then.

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  • You can still read the article if you are registered, subscribed or a member of the RPS.

  • I have registered but how can I access this article please

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  • As said, CPD articles are only available to full subscribers or RPS members. You can subscribe here:

  • I am a RPS member and still can not have an access to the full article , only the summary ??

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  • Hello, I'm a member of the RPS yet unable to read the full article? Am i missing something?

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