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Marie Lorenz Dialysis Center
Our Dialysis Center has 12 working stations and is staffed by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, dialysis technicians, a social worker, a dietitian and support staff. Dialysis treatments are administered to patients three shifts per day, six days a week. Usually, each hemodialysis treatment lasts about four hours and is done three times per week.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is dialysis needed?
Patients need dialysis when they develop end stage kidney failure --usually by the time about 85 to 90 percent of kidney function is lost.
What does dialysis do?
Like healthy kidneys, dialysis keeps your body in balance. Dialysis does the following:
- Removes waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body
- Keeps a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate
- Helps to control blood pressure
Is kidney failure permanent?
Not always. Some kinds of acute kidney failure get better after treatment. In rare situations of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better. In chronic or end stage kidney failure, the kidneys do not get better and patients will need dialysis for the rest of their life. Patients may request an evaluation for a kidney transplant.
Where is dialysis done?
Dialysis can be performed at the Marie Lorenz Dialysis Center or as an inpatient treatment in the Hospital.
Are there different types of dialysis?
Yes, there are two types of dialysis --hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
What is hemodialysis?
Hemodialysis is the type of treatment provided at the OGH Dialysis Center. In hemodialysis, an artificial kidney (hemodialyzer) is used to remove waste and extra chemicals and fluid from the blood. To get blood into the artificial kidney, the doctor needs to make an access (entrance) into the blood vessels. This is done by minor surgery to your arm or leg.
Sometimes, an access is made by joining an artery to a vein under the skin to make a bigger blood vessel called a fistula.
However, if the blood vessels are not adequate for a fistula, the doctor may use a soft plastic tube to join an artery and a vein under the skin. This is called a graft.
Occasionally, an access is made by means of a narrow plastic tube, called a catheter, which is inserted into a large vein in your neck. This type of access may be temporary, but can be used for long-term treatment.
How long do hemodialysis treatments last?
The time needed for your dialysis depends on:
- How well your kidneys work
- How much fluid weight gained between treatments
- How much waste you have in your body
- How large the patient is
- The type of artificial kidney used
Where can I go for more information?
For even more detailed information about dialysis, visit the National Kidney Foundation website.
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