The UCSF Pediatric Dialysis Unit is one of only two centers in Northern California that specializes in dialysis treatment for infants, children and adolescents with kidney failure. These children depend on dialysis while they wait to receive a kidney transplant. The Pediatric Dialysis Unit based at our San Francisco location provides both hemodialysis, which is performed in the unit three times a week, and peritoneal dialysis, which is performed at home each day with the help of family members.
Child and family-centered care
Although dialysis is a life-saving treatment, having chronic kidney failure creates many stresses for children and their families, including emotional, social, medical and financial issues. We are committed to lessening the burden of dialysis on patients and their families through supportive child and family-centered care.
The Pediatric Dialysis Unit is a state-of-the-art facility designed especially for children with an open and friendly environment. The unit has five comfortable dialysis stations including a private room for infants and children with special needs. To lessen the boredom of repeated dialysis treatments, the unit is equipped with televisions and DVD players, Playstation2, GameCube, books, board games and laptop computers with Internet access.
Keeping kids in school
The Pediatric Dialysis Unit offers a school program for outpatient students from kindergarten up through the 12th grade, covering subjects from sounding out the letters of the alphabet to factoring algebraic equations. The program is available three days a week.
Most students are enrolled in school in their home districts. For these students, we offer a place to do assignments — somewhat like a study hall. The teacher regularly consults with the students' home districts and teachers to coordinate assignments, and often takes full responsibility for a portion of their course work, providing instruction, assessment and grades during their treatment.
A few students spend so much time away from home that they do all their schoolwork here, as students enrolled in the San Francisco Unified School District. We provide the usual classes in reading, writing and math, but we also use volunteers and special visitors to add instruction in art, music and movie making.
Our credentialed teacher and several volunteers are available to answer students' questions and assist with lessons. We provide supplies, from paper and pencils to laptop computers, and have a small collection of classic children's books. All the students get a chance to order DVDs from Netflix, either to supplement their reading or for entertainment, and we also offer an assortment of games.
Our locations (1)
Paul R. Brakeman
MD, PhDPediatric nephrologist
MD, MPHPediatric nephrologist
PNP, MSNNurse practitioner
LCSW, MSWSocial worker
LCSW, MSWSocial worker
Awards & recognition
One of the nation's best in nephrology
Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties
Plan your visit
What to Bring
- Photo I.D.
- Health insurance card
- Insurance authorization, if required
- Doctor's referral, if required
- Recent test results related to your child's condition
- List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
- List of questions you may have
- Device or paper for taking notes
Learning never stops