Treatments for Acute Kidney Injury in Children

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Contact the Division of Nephrology

A diagnosis of acute kidney injury can be frightening. But you can rest assured knowing that Boston Children’s physicians are considered among the best in their field, compassionate and committed to helping your child and family.

At Boston Children's, treatment for acute kidney injury usually involves three components:

1. Stabilizing your child’s health

To do so your child’s doctors may:

  • Treat her with diuretics and/or intravenous (IV) fluids to rebalance the fluids and minerals in her blood
  • Treat infections with antibiotics
  • Stabilize her blood pressure

2. Treating the underlying cause of your child's AKI
This may include:

  • Removing an obstruction or blockage
  • Stopping any medications thought to be causing or contributing to the AKI
  • Using medication to treat the underlying cause

3. Support your child’s kidneys as they recover. This may include:

  • Close monitoring of important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and calcium. These may also be replaced through an IV.
  • Medication to control blood pressure and/or prevent infections
  • Specific diet requirements to limit the amount of toxins in your child’s bloodstream as her kidneys heal

If your child’s AKI is quite severe, her doctors may recommend dialysis, a procedure that filters and rebalances your child’s blood so that her kidneys can rest and heal. Read more about dialysis. 

Typically, your child will be weaned off dialysis as the kidneys repair themselves. In rare cases, after three months on dialysis, the kidneys still might not have regained function. This may indicate that the kidneys are unable to repair themselves enough to work properly, and your child’s doctor may recommend that she continue dialysis or begin to be evaluated for a kidney transplant.

Coping and support

From your first visit to Boston Children's, you’ll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting your child and family during treatment for AKI.

Patient education: Our nurses are on hand to walk you through your child’s treatment and help answer any questions you may have. They will also reach out to you by phone, continuing the care and support you received while at Boston Children’s.

Parent to parent: Want to talk with someone whose child has been treated for AKI or a similar condition? We can often put you in touch with other families who can share their experience.

Faith-based support: If you and your family find yourself in need of spiritual support, we can connect you with the Boston Children’s chaplaincy. Our program includes nearly a dozen clergy representing Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Unitarian and United Church of Christ traditions who will listen to you, pray with you and help you observe your own faith practices during your treatment experience.

Social work and mental health professionals: Our social workers and mental health clinicians have helped many other families in your situation. We can offer counseling and assistance with issues such as coping with your child’s diagnosis, stresses relating to coping with illness and dealing with financial difficulties.

On our For Patients and Families site, you can read all you need to know about:

  • Getting to Boston Children’s
  • Accommodations
  • Navigating the hospital experience
  • Resources that are available for your family

Integrative therapies

Our patient-centered approach means that we want your child to not only get better, but also feel good along the way. Throughout the hospital, you¹ll find clinicians trained in therapies that can make your child feel more comfortable, learn to shift focus away from pain and enjoy some peaceful moments during what may be an anxious time. Read more about how acupuncture, guided meditation, guided imagery, Massage, Reiki and therapeutic touch could help your child.





Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337