Tuesday, September 1, 2009
• An entry into the system is needed - vascular access.
• During treatment, needles are placed into the access.
• Blood flows out of the patient, through an artificial kidney (dialyzer) where the blood is cleaned, and back to the patient.
• The dialyzer contains a semipermeable membrane which allows some substances such as wastes and excess water out, but keeps other, such as blood cells, in.
• Wastes and water pass through the membrane into a fluid called dialysate and some substances pass from dialysate into the blood.
• The dialysis machine, or delivery system, controls the flow of blood to the dialyzer, includes safety alarms to monitor the machine during a treatment, and mixes and delivers dialysate.
• HD is most often done in a center 3 times a week, for about 4 hours per treatment.
• Some patients do HD at home, and may do short treatments 5 or 6 days a week.
• Or they may do longer treatments at night while they sleep for 3 -7 nights per week.