9/24/02 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Offers Hemodialysis and Pediatric Fact Sheets On-line

September 24, 2002
Information: Janet D’Alesandro, (856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Offers Hemodialysis and Pediatric Fact Sheets On-line

ANNA has posted the documents as a free service.
They are designed to educate nurses and other providers on the special
needs of patients with kidney disease.

PITMAN, NJ – School nurses and health care providers who only see a small number of patients with kidney disease may not have treatment guidelines at their fingertips. The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) recently solved that problem by posting four fact sheets on-line.

The documents provide essential information on the care of adults and children with different types of kidney disease. They include an overview of each disease, treatment methods, nutritional recommendations, typical medications, and information on such danger signs as high blood pressure and infections.

The fact sheets are free and available for download on the ANNA Web site, www.annanurse.org (go to Fact Sheets section).

The documents include the following:

  • Hemodialysis Fact Sheet – Chronic kidney disease description, hemodialysis, vascular access, nutritional management, typical medications, activities/limitations (exercise guidelines)
  • Pediatric End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Fact Sheet: Hemodialysis – ESRD and hemodialysis descriptions, arteriovenous fistulas and grafts, central venous catheters, hypertension, medications
  • Pediatric ESRD Fact Sheet: Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) – ESRD and PD descriptions, blood pressure control, medications
  • Pediatric ESRD Fact Sheet: Renal Transplant – ESRD description, information on posttransplant patients and symptoms of organ rejection, commonly used medications (names, uses, warnings/tips)

ANNA’s Pediatric Nephrology Special Interest Group (SIG) and Hemodialysis SIG developed the fact sheets. According to Dina Macdonald, BSN, RN, CNN, chair of the pediatric SIG, school nurses often call renal centers asking questions about particular patients and their care.

We developed these fact sheets based on the questions we hear a lot from school nurses who are not familiar with the care of children with renal disease, Macdonald said. We realized they need the general information, but also what to do if, for example, a catheter fell out at school.

Macdonald said she also uses the blank spaces on the document to give specifics to the school nurse about the patient (such as cause of renal failure), where the patient is treated, and whom to contact with questions or in case of an emergency.

Anyone can download the fact sheet, customize it, and use it for their center, Macdonald said. This is what we wanted people to do.

Karen C. Robbins, MS, RN, CNN, chair of the Hemodialysis SIG, said the four fact sheets fill a gap that providers have been experiencing for years.

There is a lot of education material for patients but nothing for nurses and health care providers who aren’t in the specialty but who have contact with dialysis patients, Robbins said. We wanted to create a useful, living document that people could use in their practice.

The hemodialysis fact sheet gives the provider a snapshot of the patient along with all the key points they need to know regarding care, Robbins said.

Both Robbins and Macdonald said the feedback from nurses, providers, and ANNA members has been overwhelmingly positive. ANNA will be spreading the word about the documents by publishing them in upcoming issues of Nephrology Nursing Journal, ANNA’s official publication. The association also plans to send samples to school nurses across the country, and will promote the fact sheets through ANNA’s electronic and print publications.

Because the fact sheets have been so well received and because more such educational tools about nephrology are needed, Robbins said ANNA is also developing additional fact sheets on peritoneal dialysis and renal transplant for adult patients.

For more information on the fact sheets, contact the ANNA National Office at (888) 600-2662; (856) 256-2320; fax (856) 589-7463; e-mail anna@ajj.com; Web site: www.annanurse.org.

Members of the media: If you would like to interview Karen Robbins or Dina Macdonald, contact Janet D’Alesandro at (856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com.


ANNA is a professional nursing association comprised of more than 12,000 nephrology nurses. The association is dedicated to advancing nephrology nursing practice and positively influencing outcomes for patients with kidney or other disease processes requiring replacement therapies through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.