When a child’s kidney needs care

Children might be affected by kidney problems. Glomerulonephrytis or GN is one among the diseases. Each of the kidneys has around a million nephrons. Nephron is made up of tiny veins and arteries. Nephron filters the toxic materials in the blood. Ailments in this part of the kidney are called GN.

In 90 per cent of the cases, acute GN is seen in children affected in the throat by streptococcus after 1 or 2 weeks. In case of skin infection this is evident after 2 to 4 weeks. Children aged from 5 to 15 are commonly affected. The affected child’s eyelids and face swell up. Urination is less frequent and the urine turns red. Blood pressure is high while failure of the heart and kidney along with spasms appear.

Around 99 per cent children recover in a month if instant treatment is given. Hepatitis B, C, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or lupus might lead to complications. Sometimes, the reasons cannot be traced either.

Look out for these:
-Fast and successful antibiotic treatment can prevent streptococcus infection (infection in the throat and skin).
-If urine turns abnormal in colour or becomes less frequent and accompanied by a swollen face, consult a physician
-Consult a child nephrologist as the medicines and dosages of high blood pressure are different for children
-Blood and urine are generally screened for diagnosis. It is better to treat the patient at a hospital as exact measurement of water intake and urine are required every day.
-Proper treatment can solve the problems in most cases. Regular follow up is required in the next two years after the treatment is completed. In one or two per cent of the cases kidney failure can last for a long time.

*Ranjit Ranjan Roy is the chairman of the paedriatic nephrology department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

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