How does a Hemodialysis Machine Work?
Hemodialysis Machine--understand how a hemodialysis machine works to clear blood of waste products and excess fluids.  Learn about the hemodialysis dialyzer or artificial kidney.
Here we show a typical hemodialysis machine that is used in a hemodialysis in-center hemodialysis unit.
The machine is approximately 3 1/2 feet tall by 2 1/2 feet wide. The purpose of the hemodialysis machine is to pull blood out of the patient and drive the blood through a dialyzer (artificial kidney) which removes water soluble waste products, salt and water from the patient's blood and then returns the cleansed blood which has been cleared of waste products back into the patient.

The various components of the hemodialysis machine (see below) are designed to perform this blood cleansing clearance safely, effectively and efficiently. The major components of the dialysis machine and dialysis procedure include needles (usually 15-17 guage size) which are inserted into the dialysis patient's access (graft or fistula). The sterile needles are attached to tubing which direct the blood through the dialysis machine. The blood is pulled from the patient largely due to a blood pump head which squeezes the tubing forward with a "milking motion" and which determines in large part the blood flow (Qb where Q = flow and b = blood). The blood flow rate is a major determinent of how effctive the blood clearance will be. Your nephrologist prescribes the Qb or blood flow rate based on what he/she believes your access can successfully give which is based on the size (guage) of the needles, size and condition of the access you have and how long you have been on dialysis. The blood flow rate is therefore displayed prominently on the dialysis machine monitor screen so your nephrologist, dialysis nurse and dialysis techncian team can monitor it at any time. Typically the blood flow rate can also be adjusted at the point of the monitor screen by scrolling up or down on the associated arrows on the screen. If the prescribed blood flow rate is not able to be met by the access of the pateint for any reason, pressure monitors will alarm and the blood flow will cease. Your staff is trained to hear, interpret and react to these alarms and adjust the blood flow rate accordingly. This is not an infrequent occurrence and may occur multiple times during any given hemodialysis treatment session. Excessive mismatching of the prescribed and deliverable blood flow may signal that the patient's access (catheter, graft or fistula) is in need of intervention to improve flow.

Another important set of monituros deal with the amount of ultrafiltration (fluid removal) that is prescribed and has ctually occurred throughoutthe hemodialysis procedure.

Learn about the 2008T Fresenius Hemodialysis Machine.
Read the interview with Gregory Reny,

Vice President, Marketing, Hemodialysis Equipment, Fresenius Medical Care.



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