How Can You Tell If a Patient Has Entered the End Stages of Kidney Failure?


Quick Answer

A patient who has entered the end stages of kidney failure may produce little to no urine and may exhibit swelling, especially around the eyes and ankles, and increased skin pigmentation. Symptoms that are present in earlier stages that may worsen by this stage include bad breath due to urea buildup in the blood, fatigue and inability to concentrate, notes Davita HealthCare Partners. A patient suffering from end stage kidney failure eventually needs dialysis or a kidney transplant to live.

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Full Answer

The five different stages of kidney function are best measured by glomerular filtration rate, states Davita HealthCare Partners. To calculate a person's GFR, a formula takes into account that patient's age, race, gender, and serum creatinine. Stage 5 chronic kidney disease, or the end stage of CKD, begins at a rate of glomerular filtration less than 15 milliliters per minute compared to greater than 90 milliliters per minute at stage 1 and 60-89 milliliters per minute at stage 2.

If diagnosed with stage five CKD, a patient needs to consult with a nephrologist immediately, according to Davita HealthCare Partners. At this stage, kidneys are no longer able to remove waste from the body or regulate blood pressure, which inhibits the production of red blood cells. A nephrologist, or kidney specialist, helps by developing an overall care plan and managing a health care team.

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