Pediatric Dialysis Unit

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh’s free-standing Pediatric Dialysis Unit provides a full range of services for children in need of dialysis and is the only unit of its kind in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is staffed, certified and equipped exclusively for treating children. The dialysis unit has performed successful hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis in children of all ages, including infants weighing just over 1 kg.

Dialysis Access Team

Our Dialysis Access Team specializes in difficult dialysis access cases in children. The team includes a vascular surgeon who performs complex vascular reconstructions in order to place arterio-venous fistulas in children with poor veins, as well as pediatric surgeons for peritoneal dialysis catheters and interventional radiologists for hemodialysis catheters. We serve as a dialysis access referral center for children unable to establish successful dialysis access elsewhere.

Because of the specialized care involved, the Dialysis Unit has a higher nurse-to-patient ratio than is found in most dialysis facilities. Our all-RN staff is trained and certified at the highest levels of pediatric dialysis, with over 150 years of combined experience and a strong commitment to training, teaching, and professional leadership

Five Diamond Certification

The Dialysis Unit has been awarded the Five Diamond Certification. The Dialysis Unit has been able to achieve extremely low peritonitis rates and a high percentage of arterio-venous fistulas in our hemodialysis population.

Through an airy physical layout filled with natural light and state-of-the-art equipment, the Dialysis Unit provides a positive atmosphere for treatment.

Interdisciplinary Team

Expert care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of:

  • Pediatric nephrologists who specialize in end stage renal disease
  • A social worker
  • A dietitian
  • A behavioral psychologist
  • Nurses
  • Child life therapists
  • Educational support

Kidney Kamp

The Dialysis Unit also promotes and participates in external programs like our summer Kidney Kamp, to help our patients and their families find the emotional strength to go the distance and reach the best possible outcome.

Pediatric Dialysis Services

  • Outpatient hemodialysis
  • Outpatient peritoneal dialysis home training and management
  • Inpatient hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
  • Home hemodialysis in partnership with DCI Oakland