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The blood is pumped to an artificial machine which cleanses the blood and returns it to the body.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 20, 2003 17:42 IST

Blood is pumped outside the body to an artificial kidney machine. The machine cleanses the blood and returns it to the body. Only a small amount of blood is out of the body at any time.

A “fistula” (the surgical linking of an artery to a vein) provides access to blood vessels. So does a “graft” (tubing surgically placed under the skin, linking an artery to a vein).

Two needles are placed into the fistula or graft. The needles are then attached by plastic tubing to a special filter. This filter is an artificial kidney called a dialyser. One needle withdraws blood for cleansing. The other needle returns filtered blood to the body.

A pump pushes blood through the dialyser. Blood passes on one side of the filter. Solution made by the dialysis machine passes on the other side. The solution draws excess fluid and waste out of the blood. A filter is used with pores large enough to allow waste to leave. Larger molecules like blood cells cannot pass through the filter.

The average person receives three treatments per week. Each treatment lasts three to four hours. There are two options for haemodialysis: (1) home haemodialysis, and (2) in-centre or clinic haemodialysis.


First Published: Oct 20, 2003 17:42 IST