A dialysis machine is a mechanism that filters the blood of a patient to remove waste products and excess water when the patient has no more kidneys, or if the kidneys are dysfunctional or damaged. The procedure is as follows:
- Blood is extracted through an arterio-venous fistula, a specially formed vein in the forearm. The blood is taken to the plastic tubing of the dialysis machine.
- The dialysis machine is similar to an artificial kidney. It has plastic tubes that transport the removed blood to the dialyser for filtering.
- From the dialyser, saline solution is diffused with the blood, which is now called dialysate.
- The dialysate is processed through filtration. As soon as the process is completed, the clean blood is put back to the patient. Impurities now have been removed leaving only clean blood.
- If the dialysis will be done at a special dialysis clinic, don’t be late in coming. Most sessions last for about four hours for once or thrice a week depending on the need of the patient’s body.
- The job of a human kidney is imitated by a dialysis machine. It removes urea and some salts from the blood so, avoid too much salts in foods once you are restored.
- A semi-porous membrane tube allows the blood to flow from the patient to the sterile solution. Important components of the blood are strained by the membrane; salts and urea flow into the sterile solution before they are removed.
- Dialysis removes excess fluid from the blood and removes urea, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and other chemicals.
- The dialyser does the dialysis process where blood enters the red header and runs through thousands of thin hollow fibers. The dialysate now enters the blue header from the bottom and flows around to suck up from the blood big molecules and remove them.
- Electrolytes and wastes move into the dialysate because it has higher concentration. This move is called diffusion. Fresh dialysate is there at all times and it never ends.
- Fluid is eliminated from the blood just like the kidneys do.
- Removing fluids from the blood is through ultra filtration, similar to reverse osmosis.
- In reverse osmosis the size of the membrane pore is too small that it can only allow water to pass; the size of the membrane pore is larger in ultra filtration.
A student of nephrology would know how a dialysis machine works. But for those who have chronic kidney diseases, you should not wait for somebody to orient you about a dialysis machine. Immediately consult a doctor because it could lead to a renal failure, which could be difficult to treat and sometimes lead to death.
To use a dialysis machine needs the help of a physician. A patient could not do it alone. Besides, only the doctor can diagnose if there is a need for a dialysis. And if there is, the patient’s only role is to consult a kidney doctor, ask questions about the machine and allow the procedure.