The Hemodialysis Discoveries of Willem Johan Kolff are Still Used Today

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Introduction Are you interested in medicine and science? If so, there are many different branches of health care that are essential to know. However, if you take special interest in hemodialysis and artificial organs, the accomplishments and findings of the legendary Willem Kolff would be significant to learn. Many of his discoveries are still used to day by numerous amounts of surgeons and physicians.

Background information Willem Johan Kolff was born in (February 11, 1911) the Leiden Netherlands. Kolff was the eldest of 5 boys. At his youth Kolff decided to follow his father’s footsteps, which was to be a well respected physician. In 1934 he pursued medical studies at the Leiden University for two years. While at the university he …show more content…

Kolff being quite creative used wooden drums, cell phone tubing, and laundry tubes to create an apparatus that drew patients’ blood. The apparatus then cleansed toxins from the blood that transported the blood back into the patient. Sadly, the first 15 patients’ only survived a couple days off the machine that introduced hemodylsis. Kolff wasn’t discouraged by this; it only stimulated him to prolong patient’s lives longer.
Determined by overstepping so many boundaries already, Kolff improved his hemodylsis machine and was ready to defeat renal kidney failure once again. In 1945, a disliked Nazi woman was in need of hemodylis treatment (Academy of Achievement, n.d.). Although many people wanted Kolff to let her die, he did all he could as a doctor. Ultimately, Kolff’s hemodylsis machine saved her life. Wanting to help others in need, Kolff shipped his hemodylsis machines to the United States, and also to Canada.
In 1946 Kolff completed his postgraduate studies at Groningen and received a P.h.D in medicine (Pegels, 2010). Accomplishing so many things, many physicians and researchers took great interest in Kolff. He was then invited to join the research staff of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in the United States (Academy of Achievement, n.d.). Accepting this invitation he became an American citizen in 1956. While at the Cleveland Clinic, Kolff started to study the cardiovascular system and developed one of the first heart apparatuses. This development

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