New studies outline the increased healthcare challenges children with chronic kidney disease face. Children, chronically ill with chronic kidney disease (CKD) face longer stays in the hospital, larger hospital bills and are at a higher risk for death, compared to other chronic kidney diseases.
Kidneys filter the blood, removing wastes and toxins and allow them to be expelled in urine. When one or both fail or work at reduced or no capacity, the condition is chronic kidney disease. The only known cure for such a disease is a kidney transplant, though patients requiring this may be forced to wait a long period of time.
During this time, a patient will have to have their blood filtered by a machine in a process called hemodialysis. They will also have to make major lifestyle changes and may have serious problems remaining employed.
One of the biggest reasons behind children and the complexities they face with CKD is the presence of other medical problems. These problems include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and difficulties in growth. Children are also at risk for acute deterioration in health, secondary to infection, dehydration and side effects associated with medications.
Recently, researchers looked at national data during 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2016. In 6.5 million national pediatric hospital discharges, about 4% of them were CKD patients. These children spent 30% more time in the hospital or 2.8 days instead of 1.8 days for children without CKD. They were associated with hospital bills, 60% higher than those who did not have CKD. This came to about $8,755 per hospitalization compared to $5,016.
These children were also 50% more likely to die in the hospital. CKD is caused by several things in children, including genetic disorders, congenital anomalies that may be part of a multi-organ system syndrome and systemic inflammatory disorders. Researchers are recommending more research be done on these vulnerable patients. For more of the latest, be sure to watch us on YouTube.