Kidney disease can affect children in different ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term health consequences to serious, life-threatening conditions. For instance, acute kidney disease develops abruptly and lasts a short time – it may go away completely once the underlying cause has been treated or it may turn into a serious condition. On the other hand, chronic kidney disease does not go away with treatment and it can turn worse over time, eventually leading to kidney failure.
Save A Child International, a children’s charitable organization in Atlanta, Georgia, is dedicated to providing the treatments that children with kidney disease needs.
How is kidney disease treated in children?
For treatment, children with kidney disease may be referred to a pediatric nephrologist, a physician who specializes in treating kidney diseases in children.
Treating kidney disease in children is dependent on the cause of the illness. Here are some of the possible causes of kidney disease and how they can be treated:
The hemolytic uremic syndrome is a disease often caused by the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium present in contaminated foods, such as dairy products and meat. Children with an E.coli infection experience stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Hemolytic uremic syndrome can result in kidney failure in some children. Treatment may include red blood cell transfusion, dialysis, and maintaining normal fluid and salt levels in the body to prevent further complications and ease symptoms.
- Nephrotic Syndrome.
A nephrotic syndrome is a group of symptoms that point to kidney damage. It includes the following conditions and symptoms: hyperlipidemia, albuminuria, edema, and hypoalbuminemia. Nephrotic syndrome may be treated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressive medications.
- Hereditary Diseases.
Hereditary kidney diseases are passed from parents to their children. Polycystic kidney disease – characterized by clusters of grape-like, fluid-filled cysts that can cause both kidneys to become larger over time – is an example of hereditary kidney disease. Unfortunately, there is no known remedy for polycystic kidney disease. However, we do whatever we can to slow the progression of the disease, to treat possible complications, and to improve the overall quality of life of children with this disease.
Due to the shortage of qualified medical staff and equipment in most sub-Saharan communities, we recognize that many children do not get the care and treatment that they need. As one of the most dedicated African Children’s Charities in Georgia, we are committed to bringing children with kidney disease (and one accompanying parent) over to the United States so that they can get the treatment that they require. Once in the United States, volunteers provide the accommodations and logistics support that they need as they are receiving treatment.