what is kidney failure?

1)What is kidney failure?
2.) What age group is it most common in, teenagers, children?
3) What is dialysis?
4) How does dialysis or the treatment work? Do they hook you up to a machine?
5) How often would you have to go in to the hospital to get dialysis?weekly?
6) And can someone just explain a step by step process of dialysis and how it works when you are getting it

I know theres a lot of questions! But thanks in advance to anyone to might have the answer!!!

  1. Jackie B, 19 May, 2010

    1) When kidney function drops to 10-12%
    2) Adults with chronic illnesses, the 2 most common causes of kidney failure are high blood pressure and diabetes.
    3) Dialysis is an artificial method of cleansing the blood of toxins and waste.
    4) There are 2 types of dialysis. Hemodialysis involves blood being pulled from the body and run through a dialyzer (artificial kidney) and then the blood is returned to the body. Peritoneal dialysis involves instilling fluid into the peritoneum (in the abdomen) and the peritoneum acts as a filter. Both types of dialysis have specific machines.
    5) Hemodialysis- most patients go for a 3-4 hour treatment 3 times a week. Peritoneal dialysis is usually done every day, either throughout the day or nocturnally, depending on the patient’s particular needs.
    6) To do hemodialysis, a vascular access is needed. Initially, this may be a catheter placed in the chest or the jugular vein. Other types are a vein and an artery that are sewn together to create one large blood vessel (called a fistula) or an artery connected to synthetic tubing (a graft). Large needles are placed in the fistula/graft, one needle draws blood out where it goes through tubing and passes through the dialyzer. Inside the dialyzer are tiny filters through which fluid, toxins and waste pass through. Inside the dialyzer is what’s called dialysate, which is a solution that helps draw out (or help to maintain) electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. After the blood passes through the dialyzer, it is returned through the other needle. It is a constant process and your entire blood volume goes through the dialyzer many times. A catheter is similar, except no needles are used. In peritoneal dialysis, a different sort of catheter is surgically placed in the abdomen. Dialysate fluid goes into the peritoneal cavity (usually between 1-1.5 liters). Through osmosis, this dialysate pulls excess fluid along with toxins and waste. The dialysate is left in to "dwell" from anywhere from an hour to 4 hours. After "dwelling", the fluid is drained and the process is started again. (these are called cycles). Some people do peritoneal dialysis throughout the day or they can do it only at night.

    I’m sure I’ve left out a lot, if you have any questions, feel free to email me.

    A good place to go for patient information is http://www.kidney.org

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