5 years of Saving Young Lives

The Saving Young Lives program is a partnership between ISPD, EuroPD, IPNA, and ISN which aims to develop sustainable programs in LMIC’s to treat acute kidney injury in children and adults using acute PD. The program started in 2012 and to date has trained over 470 doctors and nurses in 26 countries on how to manage critically ill patients, manage AKI, and how to insert PD catheters at the bedside.

A database has been maintained for SYL sites to record outcomes and although many have not been able to collect data due to resource constraints, results show over 500 patients treated, many with makeshift catheters and locally mixed fluids, and despite late presentation and resource limitations, they have a 61% survival to discharge with the recovery of kidney function.

The majority of SYL training has focussed on countries in Africa; however in 2019 educational courses were expanded to include India, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The COVID pandemic has severely curtailed hands-on training (a key feature of the SYL program); since then, it has adapted to a virtual platform with online workshops training delegates in PD for AKI and PD access. Previous delegates have been included in these courses which have presented small group discussions facilitated by SYL committee members and advisors, which allowed mentoring to continue, a key requirement for the sustainability of the program.

The SYL program is hoping that the opening of travel restrictions will allow for exponential growth of the program, with the focus over the next 5 years on expansion into Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. In October 2021 the SYL team embarked on the first Latin American workshop, in conjunction with ALANEPE, which was attended by 240 pediatric nephrologists from the region.

This will be followed up with a hands-on training session in Bogota, Columbia in mid-2022. There will also be a high-level strategic meeting hosted by SYL at the ISPD meeting in Singapore, which will bring together key nephrologists from South and Southeast Asia to identify key sites and develop partnerships, in order to roll out training courses in the region. This will also be followed by a hands-on session for potential champions to attend.

SYL is completely run by volunteers and the steering committee wishes to thank all the advisors and trainers who have continued to give up their valuable time to assist with training and mentoring of all our centers.

Brett Cullis is the Chairperson of the SYL Steering Committee.