Nephrology (Kidney Health)

mom and daughter rubbing noses

A child may be born with a kidney condition or acquire one through disease or infection. Our pediatric nephrology (kidney care) specialists evaluate and treat a wide range of kidney (renal) problems in children, including urinary tract infection, high blood pressure and kidney damage caused by diseases such as acute glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis and chronic kidney disease.

 
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Some of the kidney problems we evaluate include:
  • hematuria: blood in the urine
  • proteinuria: protein in the urine
  • kidney stones
  • urinary tract infections
  • bedwetting: called enuresis
  • dysfunctional voiding: a group of bladder symptoms that may occur together and include frequent urination during the day, urinary accidents during the day, the urge to urinate and an inability to sense when the bladder is full
  • high blood pressure: referred to as hypertension
  • nephrotic syndrome: a group of symptoms that occur together and include edema or body swelling, protein in the urine, low blood protein levels and high blood cholesterol
  • polycystic kidney disease: a hereditary disorder in which multiple cysts, at least two or more, form in both kidneys
  • renal tubular acidosis: a condition that involves an accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidneys’ failure to filter urine properly
  • glomerulonephritis: inflammation of the glomeruli, the structures inside the kidney that help to filter the blood
  • effects of structural birth defects on the formation of the urinary tract: hydronephrosis (swollen kidney), obstruction (blockage), vesicoureteral reflux and renal agenesis (born with one kidney)
  • multicystic kidney disease: abnormal fetal development that leads to the development of multiple cysts in the place where a kidney should be
  • Fanconi syndrome: a disorder of the small kidney tubes in which certain substances normally absorbed into the bloodstream by the kidneys are released into the urine instead
  • acute renal insufficiency: a rapid, sudden decrease of kidney function due to damage, inflammation or injury
  • chronic kidney disease: a slow worsening of kidney function over time due to disease
  • end-stage renal disease (ESRD)/chronic kidney disease stage 5: when chronic kidney disease has progressed to the point that the kidneys are completely or almost completely unable to remove water and clean the blood of toxins
  • systemic lupus erythematosus: autoimmune disease (when the body’s immune system reacts against itself) associated with kidney problems such as hematuria, proteinuria, hypertension and/or glomerulonephritis

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando


13535 Nemours Parkway
Orlando, FL 32827
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Clinic Location: 4th Floor

Hours: Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For Appointments: (407) 650-7715

 
What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
 
Helpful Resources
Resources for Patients & Families

The pediatric nephrology specialists (kidney specialists) at Nemours Children’s Hospital (NCH) provide consultation, evaluation and treatment for children with a wide range of kidney conditions (including kidney stones and chronic kidney disease stage 5) on an inpatient and outpatient basis at the hospital, and at our satellite specialty care locations in downtown Orlando, Lake Mary and Melbourne in Florida.

With the latest medical technology and family-designed amenities, we’re committed to providing the very best care — treating your child as our very own. Our family-centered approach to medicine means that you are always involved in the decision-making process and are an integral member of your child’s care team.

 
What to Expect at a Nephrology Specialist Visit

At your child’s first visit, we’ll perform a thorough physical exam and take a complete family history. We will also likely order blood tests, urine tests and imaging studies — renal ultrasounds and in certain cases, CT or "CAT" scans or nuclear medicine studies. These tests assess the structure and function of your child’s kidneys. In some cases, depending on your child’s symptoms and other test findings, a percutaneous (through the skin) kidney biopsy may be performed to assist in a diagnosis.

Because many kidney problems overlap with diseases of the urinary tract, we often work closely with specialists from urology. Other specialists, such as rheumatologists (in the case of lupus-related kidney disease), oncologists (cancer-treating doctors) and hematologists (blood disorder specialists) may also be involved. Together, we offer the most up-to-date and effective treatment plan for your child.

 
How We Treat Pediatric Kidney Problems

Treatment options for pediatric nephrology conditions can vary widely depending on your child’s stage of disease. Some kidney problems may require diet modifications, medication or surgery to correct an anatomical defect, while others might require long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant. Our staff also has expertise in managing the side effects children experience as a result of renal failure, including stunted growth.

With a whole-child focus on health and healing, we provide many other family-centered services, including:
  • nurse educators to teach you how to manage your child’s condition
    at home
  • dieticians to provide nutritional recommendations
  • social workers to help you cope with your child’s condition
  • Child Life specialists to engage your child in therapeutic play and stress relief activities
  • nondenominational pastoral care for spiritual support and guidance

We also offer KidsTRACK, a support service to help families coordinate multiple specialist appointments, research medical information, find public resources and even learn recipes for a child’s special diet through hands-on cooking demonstrations.

Learn More About Our Support Services at Nemours Children's Hospital »

 
The Pediatric Stone Center

What used to be considered an adult condition, kidney stones in children and teens is on the rise in the U.S. (and especially prevalent in the Southeast) due to poor dietary habits and some medical conditions. The pediatric experts at Nemours Children’s Hospital are experienced in evaluating the causes of pediatric kidney stones and employing the most innovative, advanced care including non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques to help stones pass with minimal pain, and, if necessary, robotic surgical stone removal. We also offer ongoing long-term, family-centered care to prevent future kidney stones from forming.

When your child comes to the Pediatric Stone Center at Nemours, our team of specialists will evaluate everything from kidney and urinary function, to nutrition and lifestyle habits on the same day, so you can get the answers you need right away. What’s more, most of our physicians also speak Spanish.

 
Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 5 Program

For children with chronic kidney disease stage 5 or end-stage renal disease, our pediatric nephrology program offers several treatment options, including dialysis, continuous renal replacment therapy and kidney transplant.

Dialysis

When the kidneys are no longer able to filter the blood, a machine can do the job for them.

We offer two types of dialysis:

  • Hemodialysis: A process that allows your child’s blood to flow a few ounces at a time through a large machine while a special solution called dialysate removes waste products. The clean blood is then returned to your child’s body. This happens in a hospital and is usually performed several times a week for at least 4 hours.
  • Peritoneal dialysis: A process that uses your child’s abdominal cavity to “clean” the blood. Dialysate fluid is introduced through a long soft tube that is placed in the abdomen and flushed out either every night while your child sleeps or several times throughout the day. Vast improvements in dialysis technology and clinical expertise enable even the smallest children, including newborns, to receive safe, effective dialysis. Peritoneal dialysis is preferentially used to treat young, small patients since families can be trained to handle this procedure at home.
Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy

This technique, mostly used for hospital inpatients, allows dialysis to occur slowly over a 24-hour period.

Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant is the preferred option and nearly all children with chronic kidney disease stage 5 or end-stage kidney disease will eventually receive kidney transplants. If a living related donor cannot be found, dialysis may be required until a donor kidney becomes available from the donor waiting list.


A Hospital Designed by Families, for Families

At Nemours Children’s Hospital, family-centered care is at the heart of everything we do. In fact, families helped shape the unique amenities and convenient services that make our hospital like no other in the region.

 
If Your Child Needs to Stay Overnight in Our Hospital

You’ll feel right at home in one of our private patient rooms designed with input from families who know what it’s like to have a child in the hospital.

Our large, comfortable, single-patient rooms have sleeping accommodations for two parents, a private bathroom, wireless Internet access, connections for DVD players and game systems, and two flat-screen TVs.

Other in-room features include:
  • full floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light
  • refrigerator for family meals and snacks
  • wardrobe storage for personal items and a hotel-style safe
  • GetWellNetwork interactive television (uniquely based on your child’s age, medical condition and more) and allows your child to watch TV, surf the Web, check e-mail, play music and games, and learn about your Nemours health care team.

Our “hospital within a garden” setting features many places for you and your family to go for fresh air and relaxation, including a one-acre interactive sensory discovery garden or one of our rooftop gardens on the second and fourth floors.

We have many more comforts and amenities such as:
  • complimentary valet and parking
  • kid-friendly commons areas for siblings
  • café and coffee shop
  • nondenominational chapel
  • concierge services

Learn More About Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
Advanced Pediatric Medical Imaging Services Available Onsite

If your child needs medical imaging, we offer some of the area’s most advanced pediatric radiology services here on campus at Nemours
Children’s Hospital.

Our unique services include:
  • interventional radiology: Our team of experts uses image guidance to diagnose and treat diseases and tumors throughout the body. Certain conditions that previously required open surgery can now be treated by Nemours pediatric interventional radiologists. We are very fortunate to have the only dual-trained pediatric diagnostic and interventional radiologist in the state.
  • neuroradiological or cardiovascular imaging, and fetal MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): Our subspecialty-trained pediatric radiologists see children with complex conditions who require this highly specialized imaging.
  • Central Florida’s only 256-slice Brilliance iCT Scanner: We are one of only a handful of children’s hospitals in the country to have this latest generation CAT (or CT) scanner that scans faster than most machines and produces excellent images in a much shorter time with much less radiation exposure for the child.

Our team of board-certified pediatric radiologists and pediatric radiologic technologists are experts in the safe medical imaging of children of every age, even newborns.

We have also pledged our commitment to the “Image Gently” campaign of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, which is increasing awareness of the opportunities to promote radiation protection in the imaging of children.

Learn More About Medical Imaging at Nemours Children's Hospital »

 
Family-Centered Care Means We're Here for You

At Nemours, we want to hear your concerns and share with you everything we can about your child's condition and treatment. If English is not your first language, we'll make sure you understand what to expect — in your language.

Learn More About Interpreter Services at Nemours Children’s Hospital »

 
With Your Family From Clinic or Hospital to Home: KidsTRACK

If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the 1st floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.

A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.

Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.

Learn More About KidsTRACK at Nemours Children's Hospital »