When injury or illness suddenly affects how the kidneys work, an innovative therapy can support even the smallest children in our care. Called aquapheresis, the treatment cleans the blood and lets the kidneys rest and recover.
We're among the few programs in the North Texas region offering this crucial option for infants as well as children. We provide the full support your child needs to regain health.
We also provide care for bigger children with similar kidney challenges, using another approach called continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).
Choosing our center for pediatric aquapheresis
Aquapheresis can help infants and children when they experience sudden kidney problems, a condition called acute kidney injury. At Cook Children's, we offer:
- Expert team: Our team includes specialists in pediatric nephrology, neonatology, pediatric intensive care and pediatric surgery. They have extensive training using aquapheresis, as do our experienced intensive care nurses.
- Advanced technology: We use an innovative technology for cleaning the blood during aquapheresis. The Aquadex SmartFlow® filtration machine provides safe, precise and reliable treatment for sick infants. Our team can easily adjust settings to individualize care for each child. While initially designed to drain heart failure-related fluid, the Aquadex has been adapted by top pediatric programs to help children's kidneys.
- Improved outcomes: Aquapheresis can ensure proper waste removal and potentially give struggling kidneys a chance to rest and fully recover. It can also lead to shorter stays, both in the intensive care unit (ICU) and in our medical center overall.
- Full support: In addition to help from doctors and nurses, Child Life specialists can provide comfort and distractions for your child. Our social workers can provide the resources you need while your child receives care at Cook Children's.
How aquapheresis helps care for infants and babies with kidney disease
With aquapheresis, a machine continuously filters your baby's blood, as the kidneys can no longer remove extra fluid and other waste. Your baby doesn't feel any discomfort during treatment.
An advantage of Aquadex is that it features smaller tubing more appropriate for smaller bodies. Other children — those 22 pounds and over — can receive other forms of continuous, emergency dialysis.
Throughout aquapheresis, our team closely monitors your child's progress. We're here to answer your questions or concerns.
Aquapheresis therapy for infants and babies: what to expect
If your baby needs help with kidney function, our team meets with you to discuss aquapheresis therapy. Therapy features several steps:
- We start by sedating your baby. A pediatric surgeon then carefully places a thin tube (catheter) in your child's body.
- We connect the catheter to an intravenous (IV) tube attached to the Aquadex® machine.
- The machine slowly pumps a small amount of blood from your baby's body.
- The device gradually filters out extra fluid and waste before returning the blood to your baby.
- This process continues until your baby no longer needs the extra support.
- Our pediatric intensive care nurses monitor your child closely throughout treatment.
We're here to help
If you have questions or you'd like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our team, call our offices at 682-885-4560.