HEALTH: Royal Hospital for Children grant will transform lives of children on dialysis

By Lucy Ashton

Parents of children going through dialysis at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow will be able to take a more active part in their treatment, thanks to a £50,000 grant from Kidney Research UK.

The funding from the charity, in partnership with The Stoneygate Trust’, will support a project to teach parents to give their children dialysis at home.

Dr Ben Reynolds, a paediatric nephrologist – child kidney doctor – was at the centre of the successful bid.

Dr Reynolds, left, said: “There are two types of dialysis. The one most people know about – haemodialysis – which means being in hospital for three or four hours, twice or three times a week.

“There is also peritoneal dialysis, which uses the lining of the tummy to help clear toxins from the body. Around 40% of our children are on this type of dialysis.

“Thanks to this incredible funding from Kidney Research UK, and working with colleagues at Glasgow Caledonian University, we have been able to start developing a virtual reality based app, where the parents can ‘learn’ the procedure safely, without practising on a child.

“The learning package also helps parents decide if it’s for them or not – the decision is then in their hands. It also saves on time in hospital with their child while learning how to carry out the procedure.

“This grant will help so many families and we are very grateful to Kidney Research UK and their many fundraisers.”

Dr Aisling McMahon, executive director of research, innovation and policy at Kidney Research UK, said: “We are thrilled to support this novel and innovative project that will equip children on dialysis, their families and carers with the knowledge, support and tools to learn how to carry out dialysis techniques themselves and to make more informed decisions about their dialysis choices.”

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