Advantages And Disadvantages Of Renal Replacement Therapy

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Effectiveness of Renal Replacement Therapy (Haemodialysis vs. Kidney Transplant)

Kidneys are organs which are located at the back of the abdominal cavity; they are necessary because they filter waste products such as nitrogen from the bloodstream, reabsorb necessary products (e.g. sodium and water) and remove the waste as urea via the ureter. The specific part of the kidney that filters waste products is called the nephron. There are millions of these filters within the kidney tissue, which take blood from the renal vein, transport it through a tubular filtration system (where necessary products are removed and reabsorbed into the body) and remove the waste via the ureter. When the renal system fails, homeostatic balance becomes
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In comparison, haemodialysis only involves a minor surgery to insert tubes. Therefore, haemodialysis is less dangerous in the short term than kidney transplantation.

Prior to the late 1940 's, renal failure was invariably fatal; it resulted in death within one week due to the build-up of toxins within the body. The first modern dialyser; created by Dr Willem Kolff, was based on the design of a rotating washing machine drum; it was very large and patients would have to lay in bed for hours during the haemodialysis process. Furthermore, severe vein and artery damage occurred, because a new incision had to be created each time the patient underwent treatment. Since then, haemodialysis technology has improved significantly; one of these improvements occurred in 1962 when Dr Belding Scribner developed a shunt system whereby an external tube kept the circulatory system open after haemodialysis. This reduced the risk of venous and arterial damage as the haemodialysis machine needle was inserted into the external tubing.

Despite technological improvements, haemodialysis is not a cure for chronic renal failure. Various studies, including one from The American Clinical and Climatological Association, have found that haemodialysis patients have a life expectancy of 5-11 years after commencement of treatment (compared to a life expectancy of 30 years

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