Kidney conditions - medical information

The kidneys
The kidneys keep the body in balance by filtering unwanted waste products from the blood and excreting them in the urine. Kidneys also help in controlling blood pressure, producing red blood cells and maintaining healthy bones. Usually we are born with two kidneys, although we can live happily with just one.

There are many reasons why children will require a kidney transplant. Some children are born with kidney failure while others develop kidney disease during their childhood. Kidney Transplant Children awaiting a kidney transplant may have to attend hospital regularly for Dialysis treatment. This may take them out of school for several days each week and they may have a long wait for a transplant. Only one kidney is transplanted and it will be located in a different place to the original kidney. A transplanted kidney is placed in the lower front part of the child’s abdomen, just above their hip. Following their transplant a child will have to make frequent outpatient visits to the transplant clinic. Although we do not know how long a transplant will last, we do know that having one means lifelong medicines and follow up visits to a transplant clinic.

Returning to school
Children who have had a kidney transplant should be treated as normally as possible and encouraged to return to their routine as soon as they feel able. On return to school children may find the combination of surgery, medication and disruption to their routine will leave them tired and less able to concentrate. However over a period of time they will have more energy and interest in physical activity as the tiredness and anaemia associated with kidney failure disappears.