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Your Child & Chronic Kidney Disease - Glossary

 
Page 17

Albumin – The main protein within the blood stream.

Alphacalcidol – Drug (active vitamin D) used to increase calcium absorption.

Ametop – used to numb the skin before taking blood

Anaemia – A condition in which there is a reduction in the haemoglobin concentration – the blood. This can cause paleness, weakness and fatigue.

Antibiotic – A drug used to combat infection.

Antihypertensives – Drugs used to control high blood pressure (eg. Nifedipine,Atenolol, Propranolol, Enalapril).

APD – Automatic Peritoneal Dialysis.

Artery – Vessel carrying blood away from the heart. Part of the circulatory system.

Artificial kidney – used in haemodialysis to filter waste products and excess fluid from the blood stream.

Artificial kidney machine – (haemodialysis machine). A machine which supports and monitors the function of the artificial kidney.

Aseptic technique – The use of sterile procedures to prevent bacteria from entering the body, thus limiting the risk of infection.

Azathioprine (Imuran) – drug used to prevent rejection of the kidney transplant. Lowers white blood cell levels in the blood stream.

Biopsy – Removal of a tiny piece of kidney tissue for special examination under the microscope.

Bladder – The sac in which urine produced by the kidneys is collected and stored until it is released from the body.

Blood Pressure – The pulsating pressure of blood flow through an artery.

Calcium – A mineral that is important for bone growth and body functioning.

Calcium Carbonate – Drug to reduce the uptake of phosphate from the gut.

CAPD – Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis.

CCPD – Continuous Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) – A gradual reduction in kidney function that occurs over months or years, and results in the build up of waste products. Stages 1-5 with 1 mild and 5 severe.

Contaminate – to make an accidental failure in aseptic technique.

Creatinine – A waste product in the blood produced by the breakdown of normal body tissues. It is removed from the blood stream by the kidneys.

Cyclosporin – Drug used to prevent rejection of transplants.

Dialysis – Process of removing waste products and excess waste from the blood stream.

Diastolic – The lower number in a blood pressure measurement.

Diffusion – Passage of particles from a solution of high concentration to a solution of low concentration.

Dry (or ideal) weight – The weight at which blood pressure is normal and no swelling (oedema) is present.

Electrolytes – include sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate and usually measured together in the blood.

EMLA cream – Used to numb the skin before taking blood or giving an injection

End stage renal disease (ESRD) – The stage of poor kidney function that requires dialysis or transplantation to maintain life and health.

Erythropoietin (EPO) – A hormone that increases the number of red blood cells and which is normally produced by the kidney. Artificial hormone may now be given by injection to correct anaemia.

Fibrin – Strands of protein sometimes found in peritoneal dialysis fluid.

Fistula – Created surgically by joining an artery and a vein. The vein then ‘matures’ or dilates and provides a route to supply and return blood during dialysis.

Gastrostomy – Feeding tube or button inserted directly into the stomach.

Haemodialysis – The process by which excess body wastes and fluid are removed from the blood when passing through an artificial kidney.

Haemoglobin – The pigment in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissue.

Heparin – A ‘blood thinner’ or anticoagulant used during dialysis to slow blood clotting or prevent fibrin problems.

Hypertension – High blood pressure.

Hypotension – Low blood pressure.

Immunosuppression – Use of drugs such as tacrolimus, MMF, azathioprine and prednisolone to damp down the body’s response to the transplant kidney.

Isotope scan – requires a special injection into a vein and will show how the kidney(s) is functioning.

IPD – Intermittent Peritoneal Dialysis. Jugular catheter – plastic tube placed into a large vein in the neck and used for haemodialysis. Also used for taking blood samples and giving fluids.

Kidney – One of the two organs which produce urine. Located at the back of the abdominal cavity on each side of the spinal column.

Lignocaine – Local anaesthetic.

MMF – Mycophenolate Moletil – drug used to prevent rejects of transplants.

Metabolism – Process by which foods are broken down and used for body energy and function.

Monitor – An electronic device used to check, remind, or warn.

Nasogastric – Tube passed through the nose into the stomach

Nephrectomy – Surgical removal of a kidney

Nephron – The functional unit of the kidney which acts to maintain the body’s chemical balance. There are approximately one million nephrons in each kidney.

Oedema (Swelling) – An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues, specially noticeable around the ankles, face (particularly the eyelids), and sometimes the abdomen.

Paediatric Dialyist – Vital mineral supplement Peritoneal cavity – Space where peritoneal dialysis occurs.

Peritoneum – A porous lining surrounding the peritoneal cavity, through which water and waste products pass during peritoneal dialysis.

Peritonitis – Infection in the peritoneal cavity.

Phosphate – A mineral important for bone growth and body functioning. In chronic kidney disease there is a build up of phosphate in the body.

Phosphate binders – tablets used to reduce the level of phosphate in the blood. Taken with meals.

Plasma – The fluid portion of the blood.

Potassium – An electrolyte necessary to the body, but harmful when found in excess.

Prednisolone (Steroid) – drug used to reduce inflammation in the kidneys and to prevent and treat rejection. Also used to treat some causes of renal failure.

PTH – Parathyroid hormone which regulates bone health

Rejection – A vigorous response of the body’s own cells to the renal transplant.

Renal – Referring to the kidney.

Saline – A salt water solution.

Sodium (Salt) – A mineral which helps regulate the fluid content in the body.

Systolic – The top number in a blood pressure measurement.

Sytron – oral iron solution.

Tacrolimus – drug used to prevent rejection

Tenckhoff catheter – silicon rubber tube placed in the peritoneal cavity for peritoneal dialysis.

Thrill – vibration or buzzing sensation felt over the vein of a cannula or fistula.

Ultrafiltration – The process of removing water from the blood during dialysis.

Ultrasound scan – A painless procedure which tells us the size and structure of the kidneys. Often done at the time of kidney biopsy.

Ureter – A tube which carries urine from each kidney to the bladder.

Urethra – The canal for the discharge of urine from the bladder.

Urea – The waste product in blood which is produced from protein breakdown.

Vein – A blood vessel which carries blood back to the heart from other parts of the body.

Venous – Referring to veins and the flow of blood to the heart.

Vitamins – Essential substances needed for proper body functioning.

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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. 293: Glossary written: 01/12/2008 last reviewed: 14/11/2020