Further Biology - Kidney Failure

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If someone's kidneys stop working, there are basically two treatments - regular dialysis or transplant


  • If the kidneys don't work properly, waste products build up in the blood and you lose your ability to control the levels of ions and water in your body, eventually resulting in death.
  • People with kidney failure can be kept alive by dialysis - where a machine does the kidneys' job - or by transplant

DIALYSIS machines filter the blood

  • Has to be done regularly to keep the concentration of dissolved substances in the blood at normal levels, and to remove waste substances
  • In a DIALYSIS MACHINE, the person's blood flows alongside a selectively permeable membrane, surrounded by dialysis fluid. This is permeable to things like ions and waste substances, but not to big molecules like proteins.
  • Dialysis fluid has same concentration of dissolved ions and glucose as healthy blood
  • This means that useful ions and glucose will not be lost from blood…


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