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What is the life expectancy for end stage renal failure?

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Quick Answer

The median life expectancy for end stage renal failure is 6.3 to 23.4 months. The 5-year survival rate is 38 percent, which is less than many cancers and AIDS.

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End-stage renal failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease, also referred to as stage 5. At this point, the kidneys can no longer remove excess water and waste from the body. According to American Family Physician, dialysis can do little to improve the life expectancy in patients diagnosed with end-stage renal failure.

Conservative management is often the course recommended by doctors and includes treatment of anemia, careful attention to fluid balance and correction of hyperkalemia and acidosis. Dietary modifications may be helpful in decreasing the symptoms. Metabolism of calcium and phosphorus and blood pressure must also be monitored.

Pain is very common in patients with end stage renal failure, with bone pain, muscular pain and chronic abdominal pain being prevalent. In many cases, patients require opioid analgesics for pain control, such as methadone and fentanyl, according to American Family Physician. Non-pain symptoms are also common in patients with end-stage renal failure. These include pruritus, lack of energy, dyspnea, drowsiness, edema, poor concentration, constipation, sleep disturbances, lack of appetite and restless legs.

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