Pediatric Dialysis Unit Shaare Zedek is the largest pediatric dialysis unit in Israel. A professional and skilled team of doctors and nurses under the supervision of Prof. Jacob Frischberg cares for all the children with terminal kidney failure. The children come from all over Jerusalem and also from areas that are under Palestinian Authority. While receiving dialysis treatment, teachers and therapists work and play with the children.
What is Dialysis?
A patient requiring dialysis suffers from life threatening kidney failure. The dialysis machine partially functions in place of the kidney and helps the patient control a life-threatening condition. The treatment takes about four hours and needs to be done at least three times a week. The dialysis unit operates six days a week. On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday there is a morning shift and an evening shift. On Mondays , Wednesdays and Fridays there is only one shift.
The Educational Staff:
During the patient's stay in the unit, he receives emotional support and help with his schoolwork. Each child is worked with individually and each child has a personal file with a program built especially for him, taking into account his age, his personal needs, strengths and abilities. The child receives help with his schoolwork so as not to fall behind. He learns how to develop motivation, how to study on his own, how to gather information and how to manage his time. He learns about his disease and how to take care of himself in order to be able to live a healthy life. The staff helps the child relax and develop positive thinking. The educational staff looks ways in which the patient can be assisted by those around him - staff, family, friends and his school. We are in contact with the child's school. We invite them to visit the unit where we provide them with information about the disease and the special needs of the student. Contact is maintained with the school during the child's illness. The organization Kadima Mada provides educational help for children who are at home and unable to go to school.
Dialysis patients receive music and animal therapy in order to enable the child to cope with the disease and with the treatment. The therapists deal with the child's fears, anxieties, their feelings of low self-image and body image. They deal with the child's feelings of rejection, of coping with uncertainty and coping with the long expectation of receiving a kidney transplant.