Long-Term Care

Trainer's tip: Prevention and treatment of prerenal azotemia

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, January 12, 2012

Prerenal azotemia is a very serious condition that can cause permanent renal damage and failure. Being aware of the resident's risk factors, prevention of dehydration, and close monitoring are always best. Regularly monitor the at-risk resident’s laboratory values. Other nursing measures include:

  • Monitoring intake and output (I&O); never hesitate to order I&O as a nursing measure
  • Carefully evaluating fluid I&O every 24 hours and comparing with dietitian’s recommended fluid intake
  • Monitoring weight, vital signs, and level of consciousness
  • Encouraging fluids

The primary treatment goal of prerenal azotemia is to correct the cause as quickly as possible to prevent permanent kidney damage. Treatment often includes hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. The resident will be given IV fluids to increase and restore blood volume. Drugs are used to increase cardiac output. Prerenal azotemia is reversible if the cause is promptly identified and corrected within 24 hours.

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The Long-Term Care Nursing Desk Reference, Second Edition, by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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