Infant patients have access to new kidney dialysis device 

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is using new technology to provide lifesaving dialysis treatment to the tiniest patients, improving outcomes for smaller, more fragile babies in renal failure.

The Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine (CARPEDIEM) is a dialysis system designed to provide continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for infants weighing between 5 and 20 pounds. CRRT is generally used for those in acute kidney injury or failure.

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is one of five hospitals in the United States certified to use the system; five others are awaiting certification.

While the technology is new, dialysis treatment for infants is not. Prior to the development of the CARPEDIEM system, hospitals had to modify dialysis systems created for adults to make them work on infants.

“We did the best that we could with catheters that were too big for babies this size, but we didn’t have a baby-sized machine available previously,” said Dr. Jennifer Jetton, a pediatric nephrologist at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “We are excited to have these new devices designed specifically to meet our tiniest babies’ needs.”

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital now has two CARPEDIEM systems that became available for use in early March, following training of staff.