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St. Luke's opens first LV pediatric dialysis center

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St. Luke's University Health Network recently opened the Lehigh Valley's first pediatric dialysis unit, which will help patients and their families from having to travel long distances to get treatment.

The unit is in the DaVita St. Luke’s Dialysis Center, 1901 Hamilton St., in Allentown, which opened a year ago for adults.

The center operates in conjunction with DaVita Kidney Care, a division of DaVita Inc., of Denver, one of the largest kidney care providers.

Housed in St. Luke’s Allentown Home Training Center, a 10,000-square-foot facility, the center has a separate area where the health care team trains families to administer dialysis treatment for their children at home.

Patients 6 to 18 and their families will be taught how to use a cycler machine to administer peritoneal dialysis treatments at home. After training, patients will visit the unit once a month for assessments, blood work and other services.

“We are excited to offer this treatment modality to the pediatric population here in the Lehigh Valley,” Dr. Tecile Andolino, a pediatric nephrologist and medical director of the DaVita St. Luke’s Dialysis Center, said in a statement.

“Patients who carry a diagnosis of kidney failure used to have to travel long distances to have this service provided,” Andolino said. “Opening this pediatric dialysis center here in the Valley gives families the ability to have one of the many facets of their care take place closer to home.”

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