American Society of Nephrology Launches New Initiative That Aims to Save Lives for People Suffering with Acute Kidney Injury

New Grant from Baxter Healthcare Corporation Will Support Effort to Transform Care


Newswise — Washington, D.C. (August 20, 2019)—The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) recently launched a new initiative aimed at saving lives of those who suffer from acute kidney injury (AKI). Made possible by a grant from Baxter Healthcare Corporation, the effort is called AKI!Now: Promoting Excellence in the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Kidney Injury.

“Each year, approximately 10 million people worldwide suffer from acute kidney injury, and it kills an estimated 1.75 million of them,” commented ASN President Mark Rosenberg, MD, FASN. “ASN is bringing together some of the best minds in the kidney community to figure out how we can save more lives after AKI and kidney failure as well as to improve their quality of life.”

Mortality and morbidity associated with AKI mortality are higher than for other common critical conditions, including acute respiratory distress syndrome and septic shock. The AKI!Now Steering Committee will review, analyze, and summarize the most recent evidence on AKI and engage all relevant stakeholders to identify the most promising interventions and treatments. The next phase will be to educate the medical community on early recognition, effective interventions, best practices, and treatment pathways.

“The ICU patient population can be difficult to study, given high mortality and morbidity, and the complexity of their care. Those factors make it hard to identify best practices for treating critically ill patients,” said Sumant Ramachandra, MD, PhD, MBA, chief science and technology officer, Baxter. “This initiative will provide important guidance on effective diagnosis and treatment protocols and, ultimately, advance care for the millions of patients impacted by AKI each year.”

To date, effective strategies for prevention and treatment of AKI, as well as the enhancement of kidney recovery, have remained largely unknown. A significant need exists to clearly identify high-risk populations and to develop best prevention, management, and treatment strategies. With this information, healthcare professionals will have resources to quickly identify who is at risk and intervene as soon as possible to avoid progression to later stages.

“Some progress has been made, but much remains to be done to advance the fight against acute kidney failure,” said Jorge Cerdá, MD, FASN, AKI!Now Steering Committee member. “Our goal is to stop kidney failure from happening in the first place for millions of people.”

The AKI!Now Steering Committee includes:

  • Jorge Cerdá, MD, MS, FASN, Chair – Albany Medical College
  • Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN – University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine
  • Stuart Goldstein, MD, FASN – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Kathleen D. Liu, MD, PhD, FASN – University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN – University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Anitha Vijayan, MD, FASN – Washington University School of Medicine

AKI is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a rapid decline in kidney function that can lead to long-term kidney damage. AKI contributes to the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney failure, while underlying CKD increases the risk of developing AKI. In addition, AKI is strongly associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, including cardiovascular events and stroke, multi-organ dysfunction, reduced health-related quality of life, and death. 



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Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit or contact the society at 202-640-4660.