HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HANK MORGAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Man undergoing renal dialysis (haemodialysis), in conversation with the hospital dietician. Between them is the dialysis machine, receiving blood from an artery in his arm. This procedure of blood cleansing is necessary when the kidneys fail to remove waste products from the blood naturally. The dialyser takes over the role of the kidneys in this respect. A steady flow of blood is passed over an artificial, semi-permeable membrane; waste products in the blood are filtered across the membrane, but blood cells and proteins are too large to pass across. Purified blood is returned to the patient via a vein.
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