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Hemodialysis is a treatment for kidney failure. Normally, the kidneys work to filter blood and remove waste and excess salt and water. Kidney failure, also called “end-stage kidney disease,” is when the kidneys can no longer filter blood properly.
With hemodialysis, a machine takes over the job of the kidneys. Blood is pumped from the body, filtered through a dialysis machine, and then returned to the body.

The exact setup and process of your dialysis treatment will depend on things like:

  1. If your kidney problems are likely to get better after a short time.
  2. How much extra fluid you have. This is the weight you gain between treatments.
  3. Blood tests that show how well your kidneys are working.

What happens during hemodialysis?

It depends on your access and where you have dialysis.

  1. If you have an AV fistula or AV graft, the doctor or nurse will put 2 needles into your arm, in your access. If you have a central venous catheter, they will connect the catheter tube to tubes from the dialysis machine.
  2. During hemodialysis, blood leaves your body through the access. The blood travels through and is filtered by the dialysis machine. Then, the blood returns to your body.
  3. The dialysis machine is disconnected when you are finished with dialysis.
  4. If you have dialysis at a center, the staff will check your blood pressure and heart rate during your treatment.



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