Blood Filtering (Dialysis)

What is blood filtering (dialysis)?

The kidneys normally remove waste products from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, dialysis is substituted to remove the toxins or poisons that build up. This procedure requires the patient to have a special central venous catheter specifically made for dialysis. Blood circulates from the body through the dialysis machine, where it is filtered, and back into the body. Dialysis can be performed in the ICU or in the dialysis unit depending upon the condition of the patient. It takes approximately four hours to perform and is administered approximately three times a week.

Are there different types of dialysis?

There are several types of dialysis, for example: blood filtering (hemodialysis), a form of blood filtering called CHVVD (venous dialysis), and abdominal filtering (peritoneal dialysis).

How long is dialysis used?

Dialysis can be used for a few days or for years - it depends on the patient's condition and the cause of the patient's kidney failure.

Does dialysis hurt?

Not usually. A special type of central venous catheter, which may cause minor discomfort, is often inserted to perform hemodialysis. The dialysis itself does not hurt. However, some patients feel fatigued following a dialysis treatment.

Are there any potential complications associated with dialysis?

There are extensive potential complications associated with dialysis, some of which are very serious. These are best discussed with your doctor or nurse.

Hemodialysis unit filtering blood