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What practice nurses need to know about the NICE chronic kidney disease guidelines

02 December 2021
8 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 12

Abstract

Chronic kidney disease is highly prevalent in the community. Peter Ellis looks at the role of the practice nurse in diagnosing and managing chronic kidney disease in general practice

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is defined as a reduction in kidney function, or damage to kidney structure, which has persisted for greater than 3 months and which is associated with other health-related issues. While there are many causes of CKD, the most prevalent in western societies, including the UK, are diabetes and hypertension. This article identifies the role of the practice nurse in applying the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for CKD.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing in prevalence as the UK and world population ages (Bikbov et al, 2020). Good management of CKD can both slow down the progression of disease and reduce mortality in people affected. This article will describe what CKD is, its main causes, presenting signs and symptoms, as well as how it is diagnosed and classified. The management of CKD in primary care, based on the guidelines contained in the most recent update of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2021a), will also be reported.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is defined as a reduction in kidney function, or damage to kidney structure, which has persisted for greater than 3 months and which is associated with other health-related issues (NICE, 2021b). By its nature, CKD is incurable and progressive, and while it is amenable to treatment and management, it is associated with a high level of mortality (Swartling et al, 2021).

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