Treatment for Kidney Failure

With early diagnosis and state-of-the-art care, kidney failure can often be prevented, or progression can be slowed. When the condition does progress, renal replacement therapy can return the child to good health and a happy, productive life.


Dialysis is a therapy that removes waste products and extra fluids when the kidneys fail. Some children will only need dialysis until their own kidneys regain function. Others will require dialysis support until a kidney becomes available for transplantation. Our physicians and nurses will help explain dialysis and discuss the different options available to pick the type that best works for each patient.

There are several forms of dialysis. With hemodialysis, the blood circulates through a filter outside the body. Most patients require treatments at least three times a week at a dialysis center. With peritoneal dialysis, the abdominal cavity, the space where the abdominal organs are located, is used instead of an artificial filter. A surgically placed plastic tube is used for this treatment, which can be done at home. The outpatient pediatric dialysis unit, located at an affiliated center in New Brunswick, is staffed by nurses and social workers who have expertise in pediatrics. Along with the social worker, our child life specialist, who works with patients during the hemodialysis sessions, is instrumental in the adjustment of patients and families to the physical and psychosocial effects of kidney failure. Though most pediatric patients receive hemodialysis treatment at a specialized center, home hemodialysis is also available. Most patients will receive peritoneal dialysis treatments at home, often at night while they are sleeping. This is the most common type of renal replacement therapy for infants. Though the idea of home dialysis therapy initially sounds overwhelming to most families and patients, the procedure is very safe. After training, patients and families find that it is much easier than they initially envisioned. Nurses with expertise in this modality of therapy and nutritionists with special expertise in the care of these patients meet with the patients and families regularly. The families always have a person to contact in case of emergency or any dialysis problems. Our physicians work closely with the outpatient dialysis staff to monitor all patients on dialysis.

Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
For Appointments: 732-235-7880
Fax: 732-235-7206

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