Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is the most common cause of acute renal failure. Early recognition of patients who are at risk for ATN can prevent or improve the course of ATN. Acute renal failure is classified as prerenal, intrinsic, or postrenal disease. ATN is classified as a type of intrinsic renal disease. The clinical course of ATN is divided into the renal failure phase, diuretic phase, and recovery phase, with each phase having distinct symptoms and laboratory findings. Diagnosis of ATN often is complicated and confusing; understanding of laboratory findings can facilitate the critical care nurse’s ability to assess those at risk for ATN. The care and treatment of the patient with ATN is complicated, and specific treatments are discussed in detail. The critical care nurse can play a vital role in identifying the patient at risk, preventing the development of ATN in those at risk, and providing appropriate care for those who develop ATN

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.