dialysis for childrenYou might think that kidney failure is not common in children, but almost 1300 children are affected by it on a yearly basis. Every year, there are new cases of children coming in with kidney failure. Some children also develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD). These problems can end up causing problems with the child’s body development and growth. It can also end up affecting his or her quality of life.

The basic reason why a child’s kidney might face some problems is that their urinal tract might get blocked or may suffer a reflux. In some cases, the child can receive an organ transplant from a relative or family member. However, in most cases, the child has to be administered the dialysis treatment.

There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis extracts the blood from the body of the child and cleans it by passing it through a machine that acts as an artificial kidney.

In peritoneal dialysis, a tube is injected into the peritoneal cavity of the body in the abdomen. Through this tube, a sugar solution called dialysate is injected into the body. The membrane of the peritoneal cavity acts as a filter and the solution present in the peritoneal cavity cleans the body by removing wastes and harmful fluids from it. The sugar solution is then drained out of the body and discarded. A clean new sugar solution is injected into the body again and it cleans the body in a similar manner.

If you are looking for a dialysis treatment for your child, you must know which one is better for the child. There are many advantages of the peritoneal dialysis treatment over the hemodialysis treatment. Here are a number of reasons why you should opt for the peritoneal dialysis treatment for your child.

  • The peritoneal dialysis treatment can be administered at home at the convenience of the patient. You do not have to schedule appointments with the dialysis clinic and you do not have to travel all the way to the dialysis clinic to get the peritoneal dialysis treatment done for your child; you can do it easily from the comfort of your own home. People who receive at home dialysis treatments have a flexible schedule and they are likely to feel more comfortable with the process. Children who receive at home peritoneal dialysis treatments are more comfortable with it than young patients who are administered peritoneal dialysis treatments at the center. This is because a change of environment is dull and it makes the children feel more like patients.
  • It has minimal side effects. On the other hand, hemodialysis has plenty of side effects, which is why it is best to get the peritoneal dialysis treatment for your child; you can avoid exposing them to other health problems in this manner. Children who are given the peritoneal dialysis treatment are less likely to experience fatigue, nausea, headaches or dizziness. These side effects occur during or after the hemodialysis treatment.
  • The peritoneal dialysis treatment can be undertaken even when the child is sleeping. This is a major advantage as the treatment can be administered when the child is least disturbed by it.
  • The peritoneal dialysis treatment is a gentler form of treatment as compared to the hemodialysis treatment.
  • The peritoneal dialysis treatment is better for younger children and infants, as this treatment is more suited for their small size. These children may not be able to tolerate hemodialysis because they are much smaller than the average adult.
  • Due to the fact that the peritoneal dialysis treatment can be administered at home, children who forego this treatment are less likely to miss school. They are regular and more active in school, at home, and during other daily activities.
  • This treatment is even suitable for travel purposes. Most people on hemodialysis have trouble coordinating with the dialysis center at home and with the dialysis centers in the area that they plan to visit. They have to arrange many things and their entire travel plans can be affected by this. As most people need to get dialysis at least three or four times per week, this can prove to be a very big hassle. Children who receive the peritoneal dialysis treatment can easily make traveling plans with their families, without facing any major problems.

Kidney disease and kidney failure is not an uncommon thing in children nowadays, which is why you have to be extremely careful to make sure that your child is not suffering from it or that they are left undiagnosed. You cannot take it easy and skip dialysis just because your child doesn’t like it. There are some things you need to be very particular about when you administer dialysis to your child. To keep the child healthy and safe, you have be strict with treatment at certain times. It is important to make the child feel comfortable and at ease if they are suffering from such a disorder, as opposed to alienating them or scaring them.

References

http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Dialysis/Kidneys.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20131116012156/http://www.chop.edu:80/service/kidney-transplantation-and-dialysis-program/dialysis/starting-dialysis-frequently-asked-questions.html

http://www.medicare.gov/coverage/dialysis-children.html