Modern artificial kidneys have highly developed control systems. Input and output blood pressure, transmembrane pressure and temperature are carefully monitored, blood leaks are checked photometrically and air bubbles are checked by ultrasound. The dialyzing bath composition is checked continuously and can be altered in a variety of ways to meet the patient’s needs. The most important development has been the ability to control fluid removal precisely during dialysis.

As priming volume, efficiency, and ease of use became increasingly important criteria, the capillary flow dialyser, which readily achieves these objectives, has become the dialyser of choice. The hollow fibre capillary flow dialyser provided the most surface area for the minimum blood volume. This allows dialysis to be completed in four hours instead of twenty-four.

In the early days of dialysis, access to the circulation was obtained by inserting plastic tubes into an artery and a vein. These tubes could be used in acute renal failure but did not permit repeated dialyses for permanent renal failure. In order for chronic dialysis to become a reality, a means of gaining repeated access Read More

Modern artificial kidneys have highly developed control systems. Input and output blood pressure, transmembrane pressure and temperature are carefully monitored, blood leaks are checked photometrically and air bubbles are checked by ultrasound. The dialyzing bath composition is checked continuously and can be altered in a variety of ways to meet the patient’s needs. The most important development has been the ability to control fluid removal precisely during dialysis.

As priming volume, efficiency, and ease of use became increasingly important criteria, the capillary flow dialyser, which readily achieves these objectives, has become the dialyser of choice. The hollow fibre capillary flow dialyser provided the most surface area for the minimum blood volume. This allows dialysis to be completed in four hours instead of twenty-four.

In the early days of dialysis, access to the circulation was obtained by inserting plastic tubes into an artery and a vein. These tubes could be used in acute renal failure but did not permit repeated dialyses for permanent renal failure. In order for chronic dialysis to become a reality, a means of gaining repeated access to the bloodstream was required. The problem was solved by the arteriovenous fistula.


© CHIN 2001

Hemodialysis machine and patient(video clip)

Hemodialysis Machine and Patient

Err when I... they finally told me I was going to go into training, it was a-a little mind boggling because I didn’t think, you know I looked at this machine and it looked like a... a monster, and I-I said to myself goodness gracious I don’t think I could ever master that thing.

Frenesius Medical Care, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Museum of Health Care at Kingston / 998020
Date unknown
© CHIN 2001


Hollow Fibre Dialyser

The hollow fibre dialyser allowed for dialysis to be completed in four hours instead of 24.

Baxter Health Care Corporation
Museum of Health Care at Kingston
c. 1993
998020021
© CHIN 2001


Arteriovenous fistula

The problem of gaining access to the bloodstream was solved by the arterio-venous fistula.

Photo courtesy of Baxter Health Care Corporation

© CHIN 2001


The significance of hemodialysis to Sidney(video clip)

The Significance of Hemodialysis to Sidney.

"I say to myslef now, you know, I’m very fortunate, because even though I have to call a machine my friend and, and depend on it three times a week, a-at least I can say to myself I can go to Toronto this weekend, I can go to Toronto this weekend, and visit my daughter, or I can get my boat and and go fishing. I-I know darn well that as long as I look after myself, feed myself properly, look after my intake, my food and drink, and.. and have a visit with the machine of course three times a week, then I’m going to be able to do these things and lead a normal life."

Courtesy of Museum of Health Care at Kingston

© CHIN 2001


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Identify and appreciate the way history and culture shape a society’s science and technology
  • Provide examples of how science and technology have influenced the diagnosis and treatment of human illness, and have made medical technology an integral part of our lives
  • Describe scientific and technological developments, past and present, and appreciate their impact on individuals and societies

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