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Kidney dialysis is used in the event of kidney failure. This is very important as the kidney is the organ in the body which maintains water and ion balance and the level of urea in the body. If left untreated, kidney failure can lead to death. When the body’s kidneys only have 10 to 15 percent of their function left people will need to have dialysis. When the kidney function is so low, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, swelling and fatigue can occur. Kidney dialysis connects patients to a dialysis machine which acts like an artificial kidney. It removes urea and maintains the water and ion balance in the body.
What are the two types of kidney dialysis + advantages and disadvantages of both types
Haemodialysis filters blood outside your body. For the treatment to work a haemodialysis access is needed which is a way to for blood to travel to the dialysis machine where it can be filtered. There are three types of access in haemodialysis. The three types are a fistula, which is made by joining an artery and a vein in the arm, a graft, which again, joins an artery and a vein, this time using a soft tube and the final type is a catheter which is a soft tube that is placed in a large vein. The types of access in which a vein and artery and joined are called vascular access. By joining a vein and an artery, blood is diverted to the vein. The high pressure causes the vein to expand letting high volumes of blood to flow throughout haemodialysis treatment. In general, the fistula is the best type of access as it lasts the longest and has less problems with infections and clotting. Catheters are generally used as a temporary access but are sometimes used as a permanent access. At the start of the treatment two needles are placed into the access. The haemodialysis machine can then use a pump to draw blood through the first needle to the dialyzer. The dialyzer acts like a filter and it filters out wastes, extra salt, and extra fluid. After the blood is filtered, a different tube carries the blood to the second needle.
A catheter (soft plastic tube) is placed in the belly. A sterile cleaning fluid is passed through the catheter into the belly. The fluid leaves the body after the filtration is over. There are two types of peritoneal dialysis. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) and Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD). In CAPD, about two litres of cleansing fluid is put in a plastic bag and connected to the tube in the persons belly. The plastic bag is then raised two shoulder level, so that the fluid drains into the tube. When emptied, the plastic bag is disposed. When the fluid has cleansed the blood (removing the waste) it is drained from the body and disposed. The process is usually done 3-5 times in a 24 hour period. Each exchange (cleaning of the blood) takes roughly 30-40 minutes. In APD, a machine known as a cycler performs the exchanges and it is normally done at night. There are many benefits to peritoneal dialysis over haemodialysis. One is that the process is continuous meaning that extra fluid is controlled more easily. This may reduce stress on heart and blood vessels.
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