Know Before You Go: Kids

What is a Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) exam?

The GFR exam measures how well your kidneys are getting rid of waste in the body.

What will happen during my GFR?

For this test, you will be given a liquid, called tracer, that shows up in your blood draws.  The doctors are looking to see how well your kidneys get rid of this tracer throughout the day.

Before you are given the tracer, you will drink a few drops of medicine.  These drops help to make sure the tracer goes where it is supposed to.  The drops can have a bitter taste so if you choose you can have a drink of water, sprite, apple juice or Gatorade. 

In order to take blood draws throughout the exam, an IV will need to be started.  If you have a port that is accessed, that can be used for this part of the exam. 

You will then get a butterfly injection to inject the tracer.  The butterfly injection feels like a small pinch and the needle will be taken out after the tracer is given.

After the tracer is given, the blood draws will begin.  These blood draws will happen at different times throughout the day.  Most of the time you are able to eat and drink like normal while the test is happening.  If you have other tests scheduled that day, you will want to check with the technologist to make sure it is okay to eat and drink. 

You and your family will be given a space to hang out in but feel free to walk around the hospital as long as you are back in time for your blood draws.

Know Before You Go: Parents

Helpful Info

Caregivers are able to remain in the room during the entire test.  Your child may bring comfort items from home, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.  Feel free to bring your child’s favorite drink to mix with the drops.  This test will last a few hours so feel free to bring activities for your child to stay busy throughout the day.

Important Notes

You know your child best and know how much information they can handle.  Talking with your child about this exam prior to arriving is important and beneficial in reducing anxiety.  If you would like to speak to a child life specialist to discuss your child’s coping during this appointment, please call 314.454.6139.  The technologist completing the exam can also page Child Life the day of your appointment for additional support.