Answer to Question #191404 in Biology for Sherry Williams

Question #191404

Jeff has learned from his urologist that his kidney disease has progressed to renal failure and that he must include dialysis in his treatment plan. Because you work on the dialysis unit of the hospital, Jeff has asked you to explain how the hemodialysis machine works. He also asks if the unit is portable so that he can use it at home, if necessary. What will you tell Jeff?

Expert's answer

One needle slowly removes the blood and transfer it to a dialysis machine. This device is made up of a series of membranes (filters) and a special liquid called dialysate. The membranes filter waste products from the blood, which are passed into the dialysate fluid. Blood flows on one side of a semipermeable membrane whereas the dialysis fluid flows on the opposite side. Dialysate pulls the waste out from the blood. The dialysis machine is a complex device and cannot be used as a portable device. However, The NxStage System One is the first unique portable hemodialysis system for home use in the United States.

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