Nottingham Children’s Hospital is one of the first in the UK to use new renal technique on critially-ill patients

Nottingham Children’s Hospital (at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust) has become one of the first children’s hospitals in the UK to embrace a new technique which helps to improve the treatment of critically-ill patients with kidney problems.

 Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), involves removing blood from the patient’s body, running it through an artificial kidney (filter) and then returning the filtered blood back to the patient. This treatment is similar to intermittent kidney dialysis that children with long-term kidney problems receive. However this new treatment at Nottingham Children’s Hospital has been designed for use over a 24-72 hour period, which is more suitable for critically-ill children. 

The new technique means that patients from across the East Midlands will have access to a more efficient, effective, continuous treatment with fewer side effects. This will improve young patients’ experience whilst on the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU).

A 12 year-old boy with Sickle Cell Anaemia, who was visiting relatives in Nottingham when he became critically-ill, is the first paediatric patient in the East Midlands to undergo the new-style of CRRT treatment at Nottingham Children’s Hospital.

Nottingham is home to the busiest renal departments in the East Midlands and is the regional hub for treatment.

This new technique has been trialled by a team of clinicians from Nottingham Children’s Hospital: Kate Peace, Paediatric Renal Critical Care Nurse at Nottingham Children’s Hospital; and East Midlands, East of England and South Yorkshire Kidney Network (EMEESY), alongside colleagues Dusan Raffaj; Paediatric Critical Care Consultant and Andrew Wignell; Specialist Clinical Pharmacist.

Kate Peace said: “This simple change to how we prevent the filter from clotting will mean that patients will be able to receive their treatment for longer, with less interrupted, more efficient periods and without increased risk of bleeding in the patient”.

Kate added: “We are looking forward to continuing to use this new technique with patients from across the East Midlands and in other paediatric critical care units in the EMEESY region.”

Kirstin Starkey is a Junior Sister on the Paediatric Critical Care Unit (PCCU) at QMC, she said: “This new technique is the future of this kind of treatment for patients. By changing the anti-coagulant (blood-thinner) in the machine patients will have a better experience on the unit and will be able to undergo treatment for a longer period of time.”

The new anti-coagulant will be used on machines used from babies to young adults, including critically ill babies weighing just 10 kilos. Last month PCCU nurses and doctors underwent further training in order to use this new therapy.

Last year, 13 patients with reduced kidney function underwent this type of treatment at Nottingham Children’s Hospital and the new change could see a huge reduction of side-effects for patients undergoing CRRT in paediatric critical care.