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Dialysis

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A child whose kidneys do not work normally may need dialysis to filter waste and extra fluids from the blood. Seattle Children’s offers dialysis for patients who are staying in the hospital and for those who are not. 

We specialize in treating young patients, including the smallest children. Our medical equipment fits babies through teens, and we work hard to make treatments as comfortable as possible for your child and your family. Seattle Children’s has the only dialysis program specifically for children in the state of Washington.

Seattle Children’s dialysis unit was recently expanded and renovated with patient family input. It features state-of-the-art equipment, an additional 630 square feet of bright open space, and design elements that give greater comfort and privacy to patients and families.

We provide training and support for dialysis at home. We also teach families and caregivers how to provide dialysis at home for children in Alaska, Idaho and Montana, as well as in Washington state. To meet your child's needs, our dialysis services include school programs, support from child life specialists, social work services and nutrition education.

US News 2013 Nephrology

Awards and Recognition  

In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked Children’s Nephrology program 4th best in the country.

Conditions We Treat

Short-term (acute) kidney failure

Kidney failure happens when the kidneys no longer remove enough wastes from the blood. Some conditions can cause a child's kidneys to fail quickly and for the short term. In this case, your child may need dialysis treatments until the kidneys begin to work properly again.

Long-term (chronic) kidney failure

Kidney failure happens when the kidneys no longer remove enough wastes from the blood. Some conditions can cause your child's kidneys to fail permanently. In this case, your child needs dialysis treatments to avoid serious health problems, including poor growth and development. Read more.

Poisonings and intoxications

Usually the liver and kidneys remove poisons and other substances from the blood. Sometimes the levels of these substances can rise so high that the body is unable to get rid of them fast enough, causing serious problems. Dialysis treatments can be used to lower the levels of these substances to safe amounts.

Services We Offer

Hemodialysis

Hemodialysis filters the blood, removing harmful wastes and extra salts and fluids. A few ounces of blood at a time are pumped through a dialysis machine, where the blood is cleaned before it is returned to the body. Our nurses have special training to help your child with hemodialysis.

Home hemodialysis

Our specialists can teach you how to perform hemodialysis at home safely and how to handle any problems that might come up.

Peritoneal dialysis

Peritoneal dialysis works by using the lining of the belly, called the peritoneum, as a filter. We train families to do this type of dialysis at home. A soft tube (catheter) is used to fill the belly with a cleansing liquid called dialysis solution. Waste and extra fluid in the blood pass through the lining of the belly into the dialysis fluid. The used dialysis fluid then drains out through the catheter and is thrown away.

Plasmapheresis

The body's immune system makes antibodies that usually fight off germs. But sometimes antibodies attack parts of the body instead, including the kidneys. Plasmapheresis is a process that removes harmful antibodies from the blood.

  • Continuous renal replacement therapy