UPTH Joins the Fight Against Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)

The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in collaboration with Salford Royal Hospital, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), and the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) organized an awareness workshop to tackle ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY (AKI) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a condition in which the kidneys suddenly cannot filter waste from the blood. AKI develops rapidly over a few hours or days. It may be fatal and it is most common in those who are critically ill and already hospitalized.

The symptoms of AKI include decreased urinary output, swelling due to fluid retention, nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath. Sometimes symptoms may be subtle or may not appear at all.

The workshop which was the second of its kind was first hosted in October 2019. This year’s workshop was aimed at facilitating early recognition and prevention of Acute Kidney Injury especially in pregnancy.

Dr. Dimitris Poulikakoa Consultant Renal Physician, Salford Royal Hospital, Manchester UK, spoke on the causes of Acute Renal Failure or Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) said AKI is an episode of sudden kidney damage or failure. It causes waste products, like creatinine and urea to build up in the blood and this can cause significant damage to the rest of the body. He explained that there are multiple levels of kidney injury, varying from mild to severe. In severe cases, the brain, heart, and lungs can also be affected which can lead to death.

A Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the Head of Department O&G, UPTH, Professor Rosemary Ogu, says there is a prevailing high rate of AKI in Port Harcourt, Rivers State because of the frequency of cases handled in UPTH.

Fortunately, due to the large staff strength of medical professionals ranging from consultants, residents, and qualified nurses available in UPTH, AKI cases are not shied away from. Team members are always ready to tackle almost any issue associated with AKI. Despite the aforementioned expertise available for case management, certain external factors like patients failure to report to the hospital on time for proper antenatal care or inability of patients to afford treatment wherein some of such cases the O&G team tries to manage the situation. They treat the patient because patients cannot be allowed to die.

She however, encouraged the public specifically pregnant women to attend Antenatal Care, deliver with a skilled Birth Attendant in a good facility, so that such issues can be detected on time. “There have been several cases of survival among pregnant women with AKI who attended Antenatal in UPTH.

Dr. Prelador Fakrogha Consultant Physician, Nephrologist and AKI Lead UPTH spoke about the update on AKI in Port Harcourt, he solicited for more Point of Care Creatinine (POC) devices  for quick detection of AKI. The POC test device can be used to test a patient and within minutes the results will be available. This device will be deployed in Primary Health Care facilities so that AKI can be detected on time because timely detection is the key for reversing the disease. Currently, POC testing has been used several times in UPTH and the results have been very commendable.

The International Society of Nephrologist (ISN) in collaboration with Salford Royal Hospital in Manchester UK, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board and The University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) are dedicated to bringing awareness about Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) to the community so as to sensitize the populace about AKI, and also diagnose, manage and offer treatment to reverse Acute Kidney Injury.

Workshop participants
Workshop Participants

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