Acute kidney injury (AKI) affects people of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status across the world. For those persons, the stakes are high: in the most severe forms of AKI, the associated morbidity and mortality are higher than those of other common critical conditions, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and septic shock.
Most commonly, AKI is first encountered by a variety of non-nephrology healthcare providers, including primary care physicians, pediatricians, intensive care unit and emergency department providers, surgeons, nurses, advanced care providers, pharmacists, trainees, hospital administrators, and quality control experts.
Despite the ubiquity of AKI and its grave consequences, effective means to treat established AKI and to promote kidney recovery, other than supportive treatment, are as yet largely unavailable. Therefore, while those treatments are being developed, the main goals of management focus on early recognition and avoidance of progression to the most severe stages of AKI. Unfortunately, limited awareness of the condition and inadequate understanding of early management impair efforts to achieve those goals, often resulting in very severe patient outcomes. Therefore, raising awareness and educating healthcare providers, patients, and their families on AKI recognition, diagnosis, and management are of uppermost importance.