ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL, LONDON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nurse assisting female patient undergoing renal dialysis on a kidney machine. A kidney machine (background) replaces the function of the kidneys in removing waste materials from the bloodstream. A stream of blood from an artery is circulated through the machine on one side of a semi-permeable membrane, while a solution of comparable electrolytic concentration circulates on the other side. Water & waste products pass across the membrane but blood cells & proteins are too large to do so. Purified blood is returned to the patient through a vein.
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