a kidney dialysis machine cycles the blood through a filtering device using countercurrent exchange,explain?

what this means and why the treatment must be done on a regular basis

  1. Asst Prof, 09 May, 2010

    It’s done on a regular basis to prevent the accumulation of waste material in the blood.

    "Countercurrent" means that the two currents (of the blood and dialysate) run in opposite directions, so that the blood, with waste material in it, is always exposed to clean dialysate. Diffusion of waste materials is, therefore, always *out* of the blood.

    (Fish gills also work by countercurrent circulation to increae the amount of oxygen they get from the water passing over them.)

  2. Jaradal, 09 May, 2010

    A countercurrent device simply means that the two substances are flowing in opposite directions. This means that the blood going in is full of junk that needs to be removed at the same side as the dialysate is coming out full of junk.

    Clean dialysate pulls junk out of the blood. The clean dialysate runs next to the cleaner blood, giving a better chance of the last few bits being pulled out. If the machines used a unidirectional filter then the junk coming out of the blood would remain at the same relative position, and once the two solutions have equal amounts of junk then there would be no net movement of junk.

    If the dialysate has more junk in it than the blood then junk would enter into the bloodstream. Since this could only happen as the blood is fed into the machine, this junk is then removed by cleaner dialysate toewards the end of the filtering process

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