A dialysis machine

Dialysis is where a machine is used to replace a kidney after kidney failure. The word dialysis comes from the Greek word dialusis, dia meaning through, and lusis meaning loosening.

Dialysis can be used for people who have become sick and have lost the use of their kidneys for a short time, or for people who no longer have working kidneys. The purpose of the kidney is to keep a balance of water and minerals in the body. These minerals include sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and sulfate. The kidneys also take out hydrogen ions from the blood. Dialysis is able to remove these wastes from the body and help keep the minerals in balance.[1]

However the kidneys are also part of the endocrine system and make erythropoietin and calcitriol. Dialysis machines are not able to replace this part of the kidney's function.

How dialysis works

Dialysis machines work by using diffusion and ultrafiltration. A very fine material, called a membrane, allows blood and fluid to flow through it. In the machine, the blood flows in one direction, and on the other side of the membrane, a special fluid, dialysate flows in the opposite direction, this process is known as osmosis. Dialysate is a fluid that has different chemicals in it, such as potassium and calcium. A doctor would decide what mixture of chemicals would be needed for each patient. The dialysate has bicarbonate in it to lower the higher acid levels that these patients often have. The blood and dialysate mix together. The waste products are removed from the blood and caught up in the fine membrane.

Other Languages
العربية: غسيل كلوي
български: Диализа
bosanski: Dijaliza
čeština: Dialýza
Cymraeg: Dialysis
dansk: Dialyse
Deutsch: Dialyse
English: Dialysis
español: Diálisis
Esperanto: Dializo
euskara: Dialisi
فارسی: دیالیز
français: Dialyse
Gaeilge: Scagdhealú
한국어: 인공투석
हिन्दी: डायलिसिस
hrvatski: Dijaliza
Bahasa Indonesia: Dialisis
עברית: דיאליזה
ქართული: დიალიზი
lietuvių: Dializė
magyar: Dialízis
മലയാളം: ഡയാലിസിസ്
Bahasa Melayu: Dialisis
Nederlands: Dialyse
日本語: 人工透析
norsk: Dialyse
norsk nynorsk: Dialyse
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Dializ
polski: Dializa
português: Diálise
shqip: Dializa
српски / srpski: Дијализа
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Dijaliza
suomi: Dialyysi
svenska: Dialys
Türkçe: Diyaliz
українська: Діаліз (урологія)
粵語: 洗腎
中文: 透析