When kidneys are healthy, they clean the blood. They also make hormones that keep the bones strong and the blood healthy. When kidneys fail, people need treatment to replace the work the kidneys used to do. Unless people have a kidney transplant, they will need a treatment called dialysis.
There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis is the most common way to treat advanced, permanent kidney failure. The procedure can help patient carry on an active life despite failing kidneys.
In hemodialysis, a machine filters wastes, salts and fluid from the patient’s blood when its kidneys are no longer healthy enough to do this work. The blood is allowed to flow through a special filter that removes wastes and extra fluids. The clean blood is then returned to the body. Removing the harmful wastes and extra salt and fluids helps control the blood pressure and keep the proper balance of chemicals like potassium and sodium in the body.
One of the functions of a hemodialysis machine is to measure and display arterial and venous pressures as well as to notify the operator when these pressures fluctuate outside of an established alarm limit. Arterial and venous pressure monitoring provides information regarding vascular access and the extracorporeal circuit in which a patient's blood is circulating. Correct interpretation of these pressures can: