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Shedding light on kidney pediatric transplant –

Photo courtesy Chris Clark, Spectrum HealthBeat

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) April is Organ Donation Awareness Month. The push for awareness can help infants, children, and teens in West Michigan.

The Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital pediatric nephrology team provide a complete range of diagnosis and treatments, including dialysis and kidney transplant for infants, children and adolescents with kidney and urinary tract disorders. They have been recognized four years in a row by U.S. News & World Report as one of best programs in the country.

The kidneys filter blood, removing waste and extra water from the blood and sending them to the bladder. They also balance chemicals like sodium and potassium, make hormones for bone growth, regulate blood pressure and help to make red blood cells.

Kidney transplantation is an operation that replaces a non-functioning kidney with a healthy kidney. It does not cure kidney disease. A kidney transplantation can make life easier for patients with some kidney diseases by ending the need for dialysis.

Reasons for Pediatric Kidney Transplant include:

  1. Congenital anomalies

  2. Inherited diseases

  3. Autoimmune conditions

While a kidney transplant is not a cure, a successful transplant can change a child’s life in many positive ways. While the child and his or her family will have to carefully follow a new routine of medications and follow-up care, it offers the child the best chance to:

  1. Increase strength, energy and stamina

  2. Offer a more normal lifestyle and easier daily living

  3. Allow a normal diet and normal fluid intake

  4. Gain freedom from discontinued need for dialysis

  5. Reduce high blood pressure medication

To learn more about becoming a kidney donor, sign up through Gift of Life Michigan or find information on the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital website about being a living kidney donor.

Pediatric Nephrology

35 Michigan Street NE, Suite 3003

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 267-2400


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