Nursing Care for the Patients with Acute Kidney Injury after Cardiac Surgery in the Intensive Care Unit
Keywords:nursing care, acute kidney injury patients, after cardiac surgery, intensive care unit
Acute renal failure (or acute kidney injury) is a common post-cardiac-surgery complication. Preoperative, perioperative, and post-operative risk factors may result in a sudden decline in the renal function, loss of ability to regulate liquids and electrolytes, sudden change in the pH balance, and acute failure of the kidney. Despite the inevitability of preoperative and perioperative risk factors, most postoperative risk factors can be managed to prevent or minimise the severity of post-cardiac-surgery acute kidney injury.
The main objective of this article is to present a review of literature pertaining to the pathology of post-cardiac-surgery acute kidney injury, diagnostic criteria, as well as treatment and caregiving for the patients. Intensive care unit nurses, who play an essential part in performing risk assessment in both the preoperative and perioperative stages, are required to possess the necessary skills and knowledge in caring for and monitoring the patients, to detect any postoperative risk factors, namely, low cardiac output, hypotension, sepsis, nephrotoxic agents. These nurses are also expected to provide proper care for the patients who need renal replacement therapy, which alleviates symptomatic severity, shortens the period of hospitalisation, and minimise the mortality rate. This is an important process to help the patients recover from acute kidney injury, thereby preventing it from becoming chronic.
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