WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILL & DENI MCINTYRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An elderly patient on a renal dialysis machine. Such machines are used in cases of acute failure of the kidneys. Blood from an artery is fed into the machine, where a semi-permeable membrane allows the removal of water and waste products, but prevents the loss of blood cells and proteins. The filtered blood is then returned to a vein. The need for dialysis may be obviated by a kidney transplant if a suitable donor organ is available.
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