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Your Child & Chronic Kidney Disease - Haemodialysis

Page 11

Haemodialysis cartoon

Dialysis using an artificial kidney outside the body is called haemodialysis. A machine is used to pump blood from the child to the artificial kidney and it is inside the artificial kidney where the dialysis takes place usually over three to four hours, several times a week. To perform this type of dialysis it is necessary to gain access to the blood stream so that the blood can be taken from and given back to the child. The type of access used will depend upon the age of the child and how long the dialysis will be needed.

To gain access to the blood vessels a special catheter is placed into one of the large veins in the neck and hidden under the skin so that only the end is exposed on the chest. Needles are not required for haemodialysis or blood sampling with this catheter. Since haemodialysis usually takes place in hospital your child will need to be accompanied to the hospital for these sessions. Education will be provided by the hospital school. In some older children a fistula is used for access. This requires an operation to connect in gently to a vein, usually in the forearm. This takes time to develop and is accessed using a needle.

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Content compiled by members of the Children’s Renal & Urology Unit, QMC Campus, Nottingham University Hospitals.

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.

NKF Controlled Document No. 174: Haemodialysis written: 12/06/2004 last reviewed: 14/11/2020