How Do Hemodialysis Machines Work?
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
What does a dialysis machine do?
An overview of a hemodialysis machine's parts and functions are as follows:
What is dialysate?
Dialysate is a fluid consisting of water, electrolytes, and salts. During dialysis, dialysate solution helps to clean your blood inside the dialyzer by removing waste products and balancing electrolytes. Your nephrologist will prescribe the dialysate right for your body's needs.
What does a dialyzer (artificial kidney) do?
A dialyzer is a part of the hemodialysis machine where blood is filtered.
How is my dialysis treatment monitored?
The machine's monitoring screen will show in-depth information during your dialysis session. Every function, including the pump speed, blood pressure, and dialysate temperature, is monitored. Every check will ensure that your dialysis session is safe and effective.
An alert will sound if anything needs attention. The warning could indicate that the machine needs to be checked or something has to be adjusted. If you are doing home hemodialysis, you will be trained about what to do regarding any alert you might hear as part of your overall dialysis and safety training. Call your nurse 24/7 if you have questions or need assistance. If you receive in-center hemodialysis, your care team will monitor the machine and make necessary adjustments.
What happens if a power failure occurs during dialysis?
If your power goes off while your cycler works, it automatically closes all the lines. The machine will store information on your session using a backup battery. If the power returns soon, that held data lets the device continue the session. If not, it is best to call your home dialysis nurse about what to do. Support is available 24/7 if you have questions or concerns.
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