S. Anil Radhakrishnan

It has only a twice-weekly paediatric nephrology clinic

The inpatient wing has only five beds

Doctors struggle

to get patients


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Absence of a full-fledged paediatric nephrology unit at Sree Avittom Tirunal Hospital for women and children here is coming as an impediment to providing quality medical care for children having renal diseases.

Since 1998, the hospital has a paediatric nephrology clinic, and in 2001, a full-fledged dialysis unit was set up.

In 2004, a haemodialysis unit was set up with allocation from the MP’s fund of the late P.K. Vasudevan Nair.

A year ago, a nephrology inpatient wing with five beds was set up.

Space constraints and a lack of adequate number of beds, doctors, nursing staff and technicians prevent the hospital from providing medical care for the increasing renal problems among children.

No nurses

The twice-weekly clinic is headed by Susan Uthup, paediatric nephrologist. The clinic does not have any nursing staff on the rolls.

The hospital development committee has made available the service of a dialysis technician on a temporary basis.

With a single technician, the unit is performing two haemodialysis daily, catering to adolescent and young adult patient also.

Sixty cases of children with renal problems arrive at the clinic every month. At least eight children need to be admitted at a time and it is a big task for the doctor to arrange beds for all.

Children with renal diseases constitute 8 to 10 per cent of the paediatric admissions in the hospital. A proposal to set up a full-fledged unit by appointing a senior lecturer, three nursing staff and a dialysis technician on a permanent basis has been awaiting clearance from the Department of Health for several years.

Nephrokid 2008

The Department of Paediatrics, in association with the Paediatric Nephrology chapter of the Indian Association of Paediatrics Kerala, organised the first annual meeting of the Paediatric Nephrology Chapter of IAP Kerala here on September 21

‘Protect the Young Kidneys’ was the theme of the meet that focussed on the practical aspects in the early recognition and management of common renal diseases in children.

Congenital renal problems, such as obstructions in the urethral valve and nephrotic syndrome, needs regular and consistent follow-up to check renal failure, says Dr. Uthup, who was the organising secretary of the meet.