Dialysis Unit

If your child is experiencing kidney failure, she may require dialysis treatment in CHOP’s Dialysis Unit. During dialysis, a machine does the work of the kidneys, removing waste substances and excess water from the blood. The treatment is primarily given to children with chronic kidney failure while they are waiting for a kidney transplant, but dialysis is also used to treat acute kidney injury.

CHOP’s Dialysis Unit is one of the most state-of-the-art pediatric units in the country. It was designed with children and families in mind and is staffed by a team of providers who specialize in pediatric dialysis. We care for a high volume of children each year, which means our team has a level of expertise unmatched at other pediatric dialysis units.

Our unit offers:

  • Outpatient hemodialysis for up to seven patients at once
  • Outpatient peritoneal dialysis
  • Two full-time attending physicians who are hemodialysis specialists, six full-time attendings who are peritoneal dialysis specialists, as well as a dedicated nurse practitioner, full-time nutritionist, and a dedicated social worker
  • A dedicated peritoneal dialysis nurse and an all RN nursing staff
  • Highly skilled surgical and interventional radiology subspecialists who perform more catheter and vascular access placements each year than are done at most children’s hospitals
  • Home training for peritoneal dialysis, as well as follow-up support

Support services

Because families often spend several days each week at the Dialysis Unit, we also strive to make your experience here as pleasant as possible.

Each chair on the unit has its own TV and video game system and movies are available. Our unit also has a dedicated Child Life Specialist, who can help keep your child comfortable and entertained. Your child will also have access to music and art therapy, as well as psychological services if needed.

To help your child prepare for dialysis, read about what to expect before, during and after each dialysis treatment.