Dealing with Kidney Failure

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Dealing with Kidney Failure

If you kidneys totally pack up you cannot control how much water is in your body or get rid of waste chemicals. It is a serious and life-threatening condition.

It can be treated in two ways: by dialysis or with a transplant.

Blood is taken out of a vein and pumped through a machine that cleans it. This cleaning is done by getting the waste materials like urea to diffuse across a selectively permeable membrane into a plasma-like fluid.

The 'clean' blood is then returned to the patient.

Dealing with Kidney Failure

This is an expensive and time-consuming process taking about 4-6 hours, that must be repeated about three times a week.

A better way is to have a kidney transplant. Here, a healthy kidney is taken from a donor, usually someone who has sadly been killed in an accident orillness.

The kidney is then sewn into place with all of the blood vessels and tubes connected. The success rate is about 80% if the tissue types are found tobe the same between donor and patient.

However the patient must take antibiotics and anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their life! Quite a daunting prospect but at least they can lead a normal life otherwise.

It just shows why Organ Donor cards are such a good idea.

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