The Nephrology Department incorporates the WCH Dialysis Unit and provides inpatient and outpatient services for children and young people living in South Australia and the nearer parts of the Northern Territory who suffer from kidney disease, high blood pressure and kidney failure.
The Dialysis Unit provides dialysis treatment for acute and chronic renal failure, as well as paediatric apharesis. The end-stage renal failure treatment program includes:
The Department has special expertise in the investigation and management of
The Unit works with a number of other hospital units including:
How to access the service
Written referrals are required. The referral may be from your general practitioner, general paediatrician or other specialist.
Renal Unit direct fax number: (08) 8161 6048
Appointments can be made by phoning the departmental secretary on (08) 8161 7303 or (08) 8161 7172.
Information for families
Does your child need referral to a kidney specialist?
If your child has complaints relating to the passing of urine or develops swollen hands, face or feet this may be due to kidney disease. You should see your local doctor who may refer you to our department. However, symptoms of kidney disease are not always obvious and often require your doctor to do simple screening tests such as a urine test or measure blood pressure.
What do you need to bring to an appointment?
You will need to bring the written referral from your doctor along with X-rays, Ultrasound pictures or any blood or urine test results your child may have had performed.
What kinds of tests/examinations do we do?
Nearly all patients referred to a kidney specialist will require a urine test and often, a blood test. Numbing creams to assist with the brief discomfort of needle prick of the blood test are available if necessary. Phone the department before the appointment to discuss this.
In addition, a kidney ultrasound examination (if not already done) and sometimes other scans may be required and are usually arranged after the first appointment.
A small number of children may require a kidney biopsy which is usually performed under a general anaesthetic by one of the kidney specialists.
What support groups are available?
The WCH Social Work Department provides assistance for some families, particularly those with chronic or severe kidney disease. Kidney Health Australia (KHA) provides important community information and support for adults and children with kidney disease. The KHA Info Line is 1800 682 531.
The department has an active research program led by the departmental renal scientist. The work is facilitated by the department's laboratory which has research and clinical functions.
Department Office hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm
Medical Unit Head
Nursing Unit Head
4th Floor, Good Friday Building
Department of Nephrology
Phone: (08) 8161 7303