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Renal Replacement Therapy

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Renal replacement therapy (RRT) is a treatment that’s used for children with kidney (renal) failure (when the kidneys stop working). This therapy uses a machine or another approach to take over the normal function of your child’s kidneys. 

At University of Miami Health System, our critical care doctors work with pediatric nephrologists (kidney specialists), critical care nurses, and a technologist who specializes in using advanced RRT equipment. Your child receives expert care from an experienced team, including social workers and other staff who offer support and assistance during your child’s treatment. 

Who is a Candidate?

If your child has kidney failure, part of their treatment will include dialysis (a process that filters your blood and removes harmful waste) while they’re waiting for a kidney transplant. If your child’s kidney failure comes on suddenly (acute renal failure), they may need continuous hemofiltration (another process that filters blood) until they’re stable enough to tolerate another, longer-term type of dialysis.

What to Expect

The main types of RRT are:

  • Continuous hemofiltration and hemodialysis: A short-term treatment for critically ill children with acute kidney failure who are unable to tolerate other types of RRT. This treatment continuously filters the blood, without interruption.
  • Intermittent hemodialysis: In this type of RRT, a machine filters wastes, salts, and fluid from the blood. You will receive hemodialysis in our clinic, usually three times a week for a session of three to five hours each.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: This type uses the membrane that lines the abdomen and covers abdominal organs (peritoneum) to act as the filter for your child’s blood. This type of RRT may use a machine (automated peritoneal dialysis) or can be done without using a machine (manual).

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