Nursing care plan for acute renal failure

Nursing care plan for acute renal failure


Acute renal failure (ARF) is an abrupt and usually reversible decrease in the kidney’s ability to filter and eliminate wastes from the body. It usually occurs in hospitalized patients and can result from a variety of causes, including low blood pressure, urinary obstruction, drug toxicity, traumatic injury, and sepsis. Early diagnosis and treatment of ARF can often reduce the risk of long-term complications, such as kidney injury. Therefore, it is important to understand the nursing care plan for acute renal failure.


The nursing assessment for ARF includes gathering data about the patient’s medical history, physical assessment, laboratory tests, medications, vital signs, and psychosocial status. A thorough assessment should identify the cause of the acute renal failure, determine the patient’s baseline renal function, and identify any potential complications. In addition, an assessment should evaluate overall fluid balance, daily fluid intake and output, and electrolyte levels.

Nursing Diagnosis

Common nursing diagnoses for ARF include: fluid volume excess, impaired urinary elimination, knowledge deficit related to disease process, decreased oxygenation, and risk for infection. These diagnoses address the potential for changes in the patient’s renal function, potential dehydrations risks, lack of knowledge regarding the disease process and its treatments, impaired oxygen delivery, and risk of infection.


The nursing outcomes for ARF should include restoration of normal renal function, adequate fluid volume, promotion of patient safety, and increased patient knowledge. The evaluation of these outcomes should be based on patient assessments, laboratory studies, and evaluations of the patient’s symptomology.


The nursing interventions for ARF typically involve monitoring the patient’s fluid and electrolyte balance, monitoring for potential complications, providing patient education, providing comfort measures, and administering medications and treatments as ordered.


The rationale for each of the nursing interventions is to promote optimal outcomes and to prevent further complications from occurring. Monitoring the patient’s vital signs and laboratory results enables the nurse to quickly identify any changes that may indicate the need for intervention. Patient education is necessary to ensure the patient is aware of the importance of adhering to their treatment plan and of reducing risk factors that could lead to future hospitalizations. Comfort measures are important to reduce stress and anxiety that can increase pain and worsen symptoms.


The evaluation of the nursing care plan should include assessing the patient’s response to interventions, noting any changes and improvements in their condition, and ensuring that all goals of the care plan have been met.


In conclusion, understanding the nursing care plan for acute renal failure is essential for providing quality patient care. By following the assessment, diagnosing, outcomes, interventions, and evaluation, nurses can ensure the best possible outcomes for patients with ARF.


  • What are the signs of acute renal failure?
    • The common signs and symptoms of acute renal failure include fatigue, confusion, decreased urinary output, edema, nausea and vomiting, and hiccups.
  • Who is at risk for acute renal failure?
    • Patients who are older, have pre-existing renal dysfunction, or have certain illnesses or medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart failure are at greater risk of developing acute renal failure.
  • What treatments are available for acute renal failure?
    • Treatment for acute renal failure depends on the underlying cause and can include dialysis, medications, lifestyle modifications, and lifestyle management.
  • What is the prognosis for acute renal failure?
    • The prognosis for acute renal failure depends on the severity of the illness and the underlying cause. Generally, patients with acute renal failure have a good prognosis with early diagnosis and treatment.
  • What are the possible complications of acute renal failure?
    • Complications of acute renal failure can include electrolyte imbalance, acute kidney injury, stroke, heart attack, arrhythmia, and death.

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