Stage 4 renal failure means that more than 70-85% kidney functions are lost and patients will be told to prepare for renal replacement therapy---dialysis and kidney transplant. Dialysis will definitely prolong life span for kidney patients on this stage.
How long can stage 4 renal failure patients live without dialysis
Without dialysis, it is very hard for stage 4 patients to live for another year if no other treatment is received. Kidney failure without dialysis is very painful for the patients, they will have many horrible symptoms and unbearable discomforts such as malaise, cardiac arrhythmias, lethargy, pericarditis, encephalopathy, pulmonary edema, difficulty in breath, fatigue, anemia, hypertension and elevated risk of heart failure and other life-threatening illness conditions.
What we can do is try to make them feel more comfortable and slow down the decline rate of kidney functions
Life expectancy for patients on the 4th stage of renal failure with dialysis
Generally speaking, dialysis can enable another 2-5 years for end stage renal failure patients. For stage 4 patients, dialysis can help them avoid some life-threatening risks such as hyperkalaemia, heart failure, etc. If they can receive more effective treatment besides dialysis to improve their kidney functions and maintain kidney function above 10% and maintain certain amount of urine, they can stay in this stage for years without progressing into the end stage renal failure.
At last I need to mention that each case should be seen individually and there is no completely scientific way to predict the exact figure of life span with only seeing his or her creatinine, GFR, kidney functions. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration such as the patient’s underlying cause of renal failure, age, gender, treatment, lifestyle.
Let’ s give an example. If the patient is above 80 years old and has heart problem or other cardiovascular disease the prognosis will be very poor even with dialysis. However if the patient is just around 20 years old, then he or she could easily live a normal life span as others with proper diets, life habits and regular monitoring of the illness progression and kidney functions.
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