Kidney, Reproductive and Urinary Conditions

Kidney Failure Treatment

Kidney Failure Treatment Options

Treatments for kidney failure are dialysis or kidney transplant. Your child's doctors will talk with you about which treatment may be best for your child, based on their health and condition. Children with sudden (acute) kidney failure sometimes need dialysis treatments until their kidneys begin to work again. Children with ongoing (chronic) kidney failure need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

For more information on kidney transplants at Seattle Children's, please see What to Expect If Your Child Needs a Kidney Transplant.

We offer other treatments along with dialysis or transplant to help improve your child's health. Depending on your child's needs, we may:

  • Limit the amount of fluids your child gets to match the amount of urine they produce.
  • Recommend a low-protein diet and restrict your child's use of salt to help slow the build-up of wastes in the blood.
  • Prescribe drugs to keep calcium and phosphorus in good balance and minimize bone disease.
  • Give your child iron and a synthetic hormone called erthyropoetin to help make red blood cells, if your child has fewer red blood cells than normal in their blood (anemia). Your child may take these in a pill or get them through an IV. If your Children may need blood transfusions if they don't respond to these medications or are so anemic that there is not time for these medications to work.
  • Recommend growth hormone for children who are not growing normally because of kidney disease. Your child gets this medicine as a daily shot.