Q:

How does an artificial kidney work?

A:

Quick Answer

An artificial kidney is a filtering component of a dialysis machine that works to clean the blood in individuals with kidneys that do not function properly, according to the National Kidney Foundation. The artificial kidney filters away waste products such as excess fluids, urea and potassium.

Know More

Full Answer

Dialysis procedures that utilize artificial kidneys are referred to as hemodialysis, explains Healthline. During a hemodialysis procedure, a catheter is first inserted in the leg, arm or neck. The catheter creates a pathway for waste products and chemicals to filter out of the blood. Individuals are usually required to undergo treatments up to three times per week.

While hemodialysis treatments are beneficial in improving kidney function, the procedures can also cause complications in certain individuals, notes Mayo Clinic. Low blood pressure is a common side effect of the treatment in individuals with diabetes and may also be accompanied by breathing difficulties and stomach upset. Muscle cramps may also occur; however, this symptom can often be remedied by altering intake of fluids and sodium between treatments. Additional side effects can include itchy skin, low iron levels in the blood and high blood pressure. Individuals who undergo hemodialysis treatments may also experience leg pain and sleep disturbances due to hindered breathing.

Learn more about Organs

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which organ cleans the blood?

    A:

    Both the liver and the kidneys are responsible for cleaning the blood. Both of these organs function as filters. However, while the liver operates as the body's main detoxifier, cleansing the blood of potential poisons, the kidneys work to eliminate waste and regulate the blood's chemical composition and maintain stability for optimum bodily function.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are kidney function tests?

    A:

    Kidney function tests determine how effectively the kidneys are removing extra fluid and wastes from the blood, explains the National Kidney Foundation. Urine tests determine the swiftness of waste removal and if the kidneys are allowing anomalous amounts of protein to leak through.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do urinary tract infections affect normal kidney function?

    A:

    Urinary tract infections typically affect the bladder, but they often spread and cause infection in the kidneys, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Symptoms include pain in the back, frequent urination and fever.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do kidneys clean the blood?

    A:

    The kidneys filter blood through a two-step process. Blood first enters a filter called the glomerulus, where excess fluid and waste products are redirected into the second area of filtration, known as the tubule. The tubule extracts any needed minerals that make it through the first filter and sends them back into the bloodstream, while the final product emerges from the tubule as urine.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore