Hemodialysis is a treatment method which is used to clean your blood. This is the most common way to treat kidney failure. Hemodialysis uses a dialysis machine with a special filter called an artificial kidney or a dialyzer. A minimally invasive surgery is done, usually in your arm, to get access into your blood vessels. Hemodialysis can be done either in a dialysis center or at your home. It is usually done 3 times per week for about 4 hours at a time if done in a dialysis center. If at home, it is usually done 5-7 times per week for shorter durations.
- There are two parts for a dialyzer: one for cleaning the blood and the other for washing the fluid called dialysate. These two parts are separated by a thin semi permeable membrane that restricts passage of blood cells, protein and other important contents of the blood so that they remain in the blood. It allows passage of waste products in the blood such as urea, creatinine, potassium and extra fluid to pass through it.
- When you go to receive hemodialysis, your nurse will check your weight and other vital signs. The weight indicates how much excess fluid needs to be removed.
- The technician places two needles, usually in our arm. Each needle is attached to a soft tube connected to the dialysis machine. In this way, the patient is connected to the machine.
- The dialysis machine pumps blood through the filter and filtered blood is returned to your body.
- The procedure can be carried out in the comfort of the patient’s home.
- Procedure can be carried out even if the patient is asleep
- Greater risk of developing peritonitis
- Scarring and thickening of peritoneum
- Infection at access sites
- Strict diet is required
- Some may experience nausea and headaches
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