Nursing essential principles: continuous renal replacement therapy

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This article aims to guide critical care nurses with the care and management of patients on continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).


CRRT, a highly specialized therapy involving complex nursing care, is used widely in the intensive care unit to treat patients with acute kidney injury.


A literature search was conducted using CINAHL, Medline from PubMed and BNI using the search terms CRRT or continuous veno-venous haemofiltration and nursing or nurses from 2000 onwards and limited to the English language. The appraised evidence and expert opinion is used in this article.


Four essential nursing principles for CRRT are reviewed (1) the importance of continuous assessment of the indications to influence the appropriate mode; (2) ensuring good vascular access; (3) the avoidance of unnecessary interruptions and (4) the prevention of complications.


The identified four essential nursing principles provide guidance on this complex aspects of nursing practice. Specific nursing research to guide the care and management of this therapy is limited so should be explored in the future.

Relevance to clinical practice:

Critical care nurses caring for and managing patients on CRRT require an understanding of how to deliver safe CRRT.

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