WHY IS WATER KEY TO DIALYSIS?- Dr Okwuonu Explains

 Water treatment is key in dialysis treatment. We understand this well and put in our best to prevent water borne infection, and water-related complications in dialysis such as Aluminum bone disease, infection, chlorine related hemolysis.



From municipal or borehole source, the water goes through carbon filters, particle filters, reverse osmosis and delivered to the dialysis machine.



In the dialysis machine, the water mixes with the acid concentrate and bicarbonate at a regulated temperature and conductivity to form the dialysate. The dialysate is delivered via conduits to the dialyzer where it baths the dialyzers membrane and flows in a uni direction with blood in the dialysis tubes moving in opposite direction. This mimics the so called well known countercurrent mechanism in kidney tubules.



The water, hence comes very close, but do not mix with the blood. In this position, whatever impurity in the water can contaminate the blood and complicate dialysis.

We understand this process well and take all the precautions to avoid water-related infections. 

Sometimes, after dialysis, the blood percentage reduces due to water-related breakdown of red blood cells consequent upon contamination with Chlorine in source water. The filtration system is designed to remove aluminium. Also someone can develop fever during dialysis due to microbial contamination of water. If this happens, analgesics are given during dialysis to reduce the fever while definitive measures are taken thereafter.


Water is key to dialysis because without it, dialysis will not occur. Water is needed to achieve both diffusion and convection, the key principles of haemodialysis. Water borne infections and complications can affect outcome of dialysis.

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