Pediatrics

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Clinical Care

Faculty in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology at IU School of Medicine provide care for all forms of pediatric kidney disease and are national and international experts in hypertension, congenital kidney disease, kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, end-stage kidney disease, and glomerulopathies.

This pediatrics specialty area is expanding its clinical sites and outreach programs to include telemedicine services and a statewide hypertension network to help families access physicians without traveling to Indianapolis. In addition, a transition clinic for adolescent patients is being developed to prepare them for independence.

Patient care incorporates multidisciplinary teams that provide comprehensive care. Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension faculty at IU School of Medicine are nationally and internationally recognized and serve in leadership positions for the largest pediatric nephrology associations in the United States.

Outpatient Dialysis Unit

Pediatric Nephrology faculty see an average of 30 children—ages newborn to 21 years—on dialysis at a time in the Riley Outpatient Dialysis Unit, the only outpatient chronic hemodialysis unit in Indiana. Thirty percent of these patients are undergoing hemodialysis and 70 percent undergoing peritoneal dialysis.

The team of nephrologists, nurses and support personnel provide comprehensive care for patients to optimize health and enable patients and their families their best possible quality of life despite the chronic medical condition. In the unit, nurses care for both in- and outpatients and a dedicated educator works with the children while on hemodialysis 3 to 5 times a week to ensure they are keeping pace with their peers academically and to assist families in coordinating services with schools.

A dedicated renal social worker assists families and patients with financial, insurance and other social needs and a renal dietician helps optimize patient’s nutritional status and assists with dietary education for renal patients. The optimal treatment goal is for all children to receive a renal transplant. Ten patients have received renal transplants in the past 12 months. Each year, patients enjoy a week at Kidney Camp, one of the highlights of their year. Kidney Camp, which the kids look forward to all year, takes place at Camp Tecumseh for one week in early June. Dialysis nurses, nurse practitioners and a nephrologist stay on site at camp and provide dialysis care and medical management so the kids can enjoy a camp experience.

Transplant Program

The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health is ranked in the first quartile in the United States for its high volume of patients transplanted each year and is a national leader in positive patient outcomes. Pre-transplantation, faculty in the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension work as part of a multidisciplinary team that includes a transplant surgeon, four pediatric nephrologists, a transplant coordinator, a pediatric renal dietitian, a social worker and a nurse. Post-transplantation, patients recover in the intensive care unit under a closely knit management team of pediatric surgeons, nephrologists and intensivists. In clinics, this team works very closely with the pediatric urologists, renal pathologists, psychiatrists and other pediatric subspecialties. The transplant center is part of a nationwide pediatric kidney transplant outcomes improvement network (the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative, or IROC) that is improving long-term health outcomes and quality of life for children with kidney transplants.