Kidney Failure

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What is kidney failure?

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to properly filter waste from the blood. When the kidneys are functioning correctly, they work by filtering the blood and extracting toxins from the body. These are removed from the body through urination.

What causes it?

Kidney failure can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Reduced blood flow
    Kidney failure can occur in cases where blood flow to the kidneys suddenly stops. This can occur as a result of heart disease, severe dehydration, or a severe infection in the body.
  • Problems with urine elimination
    In cases where the body is unable to properly get rid of urine, toxins accumulate and overload the kidneys. Conditions such as damage to the nerves in the bladder can cause this kind of issue. This can also be due to any blockage to the urinary tract preventing elimination of urine.
  • Others
    These include infection or immune related conditions affecting the kidney directly (known as glomerulonephritis), trauma to the kidney or severe muscle damage, any severe infection in the body that spreads to affect the kidneys, any congenital abnormality of the kidney which affects its functioning.

What are the symptoms?

This includes passing less urine than normal, fluid retention which can lead to swollen legs and feet, shortness of breath, nausea, and chest pain.

How can it be treated?

Immediate life saving treatment may warrant the use of dialysis - a machine which filters and purifies the blood in the way properly functioning kidneys do. The treatment that Dr Moodley recommends will depend on the reason for your child’s kidney failure. It is important to identify and treat the cause of kidney failure.

Should the initial kidney failure not recover and if it progresses to chronic kidney disease, dialysis will become permanent until kidney transplant can be performed.



Suite 102 Medical Centre, Busamed Gateway Private Hospital, 35-38 Aurora Drive, Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal

+27 (0)31 566 5195

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+27 (0)31 261 4767

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+27 (0)31 537 4125 / +27 (0)31 502 3142