Find comprehensive care for your child with a kidney condition at UNM Health System. You'll gain access to excellent treatments and support – including prevention, social work, nutrition counseling and Child Life services – that improve quality of life.
What We Do
Your child's nephrologist works closely with pediatric urologists to diagnose and treat the causes of your child's acute and chronic kidney damage such as:
- Blood, protein or sugar in urine
- Acute and chronic kidney diseases
- Kidney abnormalities present at birth
- Kidney stones
- Metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Genetic kidney conditions
When the kidneys can't do their job, your child needs dialysis to remove waste, salts and excess fluid from the blood. Dialysis may take place in an inpatient or outpatient setting or at home. In UNM Children's Hospital's pediatric infusion unit, your child can watch movies or play video games during dialysis.
A doctor will recommend the type of dialysis that's best for your child:
- Hemodialysis is a process in which a machine cleanses the blood; and it typically requires three sessions a week. Dialysis is performed by a nurse in the pediatric dialysis center for chronic patients.
- Peritoneal dialysis requires connecting the patient to a machine that removes the waste by exchanging the fluid in and out of the belly in cycles. Chronic patients may receive training to perform this procedure at home with support from our dialysis team.
Pediatric Outpatient Dialysis Unit
Children who have kidney failure will also spend time at the pediatric infusion unit, which is also home to the Pediatric Outpatient Dialysis Unit. Children with kidney failure work with highly trained pediatric nurses for dialysis therapies in our outpatient unit or at home while awaiting a kidney transplant.
The unit is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 505-272-6065.
After a diagnosis of chronic kidney failure, a kidney transplant could be the next step. Dialysis may be needed for the child in preparation of the transplant. Our team will perform a thorough health evaluation to coordinate the care your child needs for a transplant, as well as guide you through the process.
During the wait for a donor kidney, help your child stay as healthy as possible, and make sure he or she stays on track with dialysis and other treatments.
When a donor kidney that's right for your child's blood type becomes available, a UNM Health transplant surgeon will perform the surgery. Your child will need to take immunosuppressant medications that keep the body from rejecting the kidney. Regular medical checkups with the UNM Health System transplant team will help recovery go as well as possible.
Make an Appointment
To request an appointment with a pediatric kidney specialist at UNM Health System, call 505-272-3887. Ask your pediatrician for a referral before you call. Our fax number for referrals is 505-272-6620.