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HAEMODIALYSIS & DIALYSERS EXPLAINED                  dialysis fluid (dialysate). The cleansed blood is
          Generally speaking, the dialyser is essentially a    then returned to the body at the same rate at
          filter. It is a cylinder that contains very thin plastic  which it is removed; approximately 200-300mls
          fibres that act as a dialysis membrane. Your blood   per minute.
          runs along the middle of the fibres and the             In the dialyser the blood flows along one side
          dialysis fluid is pumped on the outside of the       of a semipermeable membrane made of cellulose
          fibres. There is no contact between the blood and    or a similar product, with the dialysate flowing on
          the dialysis fluid.                                  the other side.
             In the dialyser, toxins and excess water (which      The different molecules pass through the
          are the equivalent of the urine produced by the      dialyser, at different rates, until a suitable
          healthy kidneys) pass from the blood into the        concentration is achieved.


          Each month, “monthly bloods” are taken to                                                        © 2007 Jazz Communications Limited
          ensure you are receiving the best possible
          treatment. These tests include:
          l Haemoglobin levels
          l Iron studies
          l Urea and electrolyte and calcium and
             phosphate levels.

           Dry weight is the weight that you are with no
        excess fluid accumulated in the body. Your weight
        may drop if you have been unwell or not
        eating. It can also rise if you have had an           Esmeralda was one of the few
        increase in appetite and gained body weight.              who really liked dialysis
        Before and after your dialysis treatment you
        will be weighed.
           This monitoring of your pre- and post-dialysis     of weight gain is equal to 1 litre of fluid. The extra
        weight allows the nurse to calculate how much         0.5 litre is to account for the fluid you receive
        fluid needs to be removed from your body. During      during your treatment.
        dialysis the fluid you accumulate between dialysis       Your dry weight will be adjusted regularly,
        sessions is called the intradialytic weight gain.     based on how much you are eating, your blood
        For example: If you gain 1kg of weight we would       pressure and if there is swelling (fluid) on your
        aim to remove 1.5 litres of fluid. This is because 1kg  ankles.

         P.6 Haemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis – A Guide for Patients
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