What is Covid-19 Impact on Dialysis? | Procedure, Types, and Precautions

Dialysis carries out the functioning of a healthy kidney. It is recommended for people with a damaged kidney or one who is has had kidney failure. Many a time people think that dialysis patients do not have the energy and time to work like any other normal person; the truth is several dialysis patients resume to their work-life and performs day to day activity. It is also important to remember to have a word with your doctor and dialysis care team about the status of your health and how much workload your body can take post-dialysis. For more convenience and better care, you can consider getting dialysis at home.

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Dialysis

What is Dialysis?

Dialysis is related to the functioning of the kidneys. As we know, the kidney functions by removing excess fluid/waste from our body; in the process filtering the blood. The waste generated is sent to the bladder which is passed out as urine.

The moment the kidney gives up, dialysis steps in to perform its function. In dialysis treatment, the blood is filtered and purified with the help of a machine. In this manner, the electrolytes and fluids in the body are maintained in a balanced ratio.

The first dialysis treatment was done in the 1940s to cure people with a kidney disorder. Dialysis offers some people with an extended life when there is a delay or no matching donor in the current moment, in other words, it provides support to the body functions and an appropriate time to carry out a kidney transplant.

Why is dialysis done?

Dialysis is performed when a person reaches the end stage of kidney failure, a healthy kidney stops excess water, impurities and other waste from building up in the body. Not just that, it also keeps the blood pressure under control along with the levels of chemical elements (sodium, potassium) present in the blood. The kidney produces a form of vitamin D that helps in the absorption of calcium.

All such functions come to stand still when there is damage in the kidney due to injury or disease. In such a condition if dialysis is not performed, the waste and salts will gather in the blood. This accumulated waste will then attack the body by forming a poison and start damaging all other healthy organs. Dialysis cannot be regarded as a solution to treat a kidney but it is definitely a step ahead to cure it.

Types of dialysis

There are three different types of dialysis-

  • Hemodialysis

In this process, an artificial kidney is used which is also known as hemodialyzer to remove the impurities and unwanted fluids from the blood. Blood is taken from the body and then processed, filtered through the artificial kidney. After purification, the blood is transferred back to the body with the help of a dialysis machine

The surgeon performs a surgery to make an entrance into the blood. The entrance can be created in three ways-

  • AV graft – A looped tube is used to make the passage
  • Vascular access catheter – insertion is done in the large vein in the neck
  • Arteriovenous(AV) fistula – a connection is formed between the artery and a vein and is one of the commonly preferred types.

Hemodialysis treatment lasts for 5 hours and is carried out 3 times per week. The duration of the treatment entirely depends on the amount of waste present in the body, the body-size and the health condition of the patient. In case a person requires dialysis for a longer period he/she can opt to take treatment at home too.

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