What is a dialysis machine and how does it work?
A dialysis machine is used in the hemodialysis procedure. Hemodialysis is done when the kidneys stop functioning and cannot perform their primary duty of removing urea and specific salts from the body. Which is why during the procedure, the machine performs these specific functions of the kidneys.
The device mixes and tracks dialysate, a liquid that is used to discard waste materials from the blood. The fluid also helps in normalizing the electrolyte and mineral levels in the body. Alternatively, the dialysis equipment also monitors the blood flow even when it is outside the body. It comes with an alarm that alerts the doctors that something needs to be inspected.
A dialysis machine is fitted with plastic jugs which are situated in the front of the equipment. The jugs are used to hold the fluids that mix the dialysate. During the dialysis process, the dialysate and the blood go through the dialyzer. However, the two are never in contact with each other. Newly produced dialysate goes inside the patient’s dialyzer throughout the process. The extra electrolytes and impure particles in the body are filtered out from the blood and collected in the dialysate from where it is drained out.
The dialysis machine has a blood tubing which transports the blood to the dialyzer and is attached through the blood pump. The pump works in a circular motion, pushing the blood through the dialyzer and then back into the body. During the procedure, there’s a chance that the blood might clot when traveling through the blood tubing. To stop blood clots, the patient is given a drug called Heparin through a syringe. The syringe is attached to a part of the equipment known as the Heparin pump. This pump is designed in a way where it can control the amount of Heparin being pushed into the blood tubing during the procedure. This drug prevents the blood from clotting.
Another problem that can occur during the procedure is that air can seep into the blood tubing. For this reason, the tubing consists of two air traps. One of the traps is placed before the dialyzer and the other one after. These traps clasp the air which would otherwise enter the tubing and then into the system.