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Research Article

Presentation, management, complications, and outcome of acute renal failure in childhood: five years' experience.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 05 March 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:599
  1. R Counahan,
  2. J S Cameron,
  3. C S Ogg,
  4. P Spurgeon,
  5. D G Williams,
  6. E Winder,
  7. C Chantler


    During 1971-5, 72 episodes of acute renal failure were treated in 70 children aged up to 16 years. The commonest causes were renal hypoperfusion (31 cases), haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (12), glomerulonephritis (9), septicaemia (5), and congenital abnormalities (6). Though referral from other hospitals was generally prompt, 10 out of 51 patients had been observed for up to seven days before transfer. Dailysis was used in 44 cases, the most common complications of which were peritonitis in those treated with peritoneal dialysis and acute changes in fluid balance in those treated with haemodialysis. Altogether 37 patients fully recovered, 10 were discharged with chronically impaired renal function, 17 died, and six entered the dialysis and transplantation programme. The mortality fell from 33% in 1972 to 20% in later years, which was due solely to maintenance dialysis being available. Though all patients with irrevocable kidney failure who were suitable entered the dialysis and transplantation programme, with current financial restrictions we doubt whether we shall be able to find places for all such patients in the future.