What is hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is a medical treatment in which blood is removed from the body and passed through a filter to remove waste products before returning to the body. This treatment is commonly used to treat people suffering from kidney failure, as the kidneys normally perform this function. Depending on the patient and the situation, hemodialysis can be performed on an emergency or long-term basis, and for some long-term patients, home hemodialysis may be possible.

The hemodialysis process involves several steps. First, a needle is inserted into the patient. His blood then flows into a dialyzer, a medical device also known as an artificial kidney. On the way to the dialyzer, an anticoagulant is added to the blood to ensure that it does not clot.

Once the blood is inside the dialyzer, it runs through a variety of tubes that are made of a semi-permeable material. The tubes are surrounded by a container filled with a fluid known as dialysate. The dialysate is specially formulated just for the patient. As blood passes through the tubes of the artificial kidney, metabolic waste products and other impurities are drawn across the artificial membrane by the dialysate. The residual fluid in the container is discarded or cleaned and recycled, while the clean blood is returned to the body through another needle.

In emergency hemodialysis, the goal is to get the patient stable as quickly as possible, and the needles are usually inserted in the most convenient places. For long-term hemodialysis treatment, surgeons may do an arterial vein graft, which increases the volume of dialysis, or they may insert an artificial graft. An access point can also be attached to the site to facilitate patient connection to a hemodialysis machine.

Patients may be prescribed several hemodialysis sessions per week to compensate for their kidney failure, either as a long-term treatment approach or as a holdover until a kidney suitable for transplantation becomes available. Hemodialysis can also be used to treat patients with kidney failure as a medical complication.

Hemodialysis has a number of side effects that should be discussed with a doctor or medical technician. Because hemodialysis often involves the removal of wastewater, and people with kidney failure urinate less, this can sometimes cause temporary health effects that people should be prepared for, such as low blood pressure, fatigue, and Headaches.

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