Going on dialysis is an unpleasant fact for many people with diseased kidneys, but in many parts of the world that’s not nearly the biggest problem. Dialysis machines are expensive, rather bulky, and require specialists to maintain and operate. This translates to lots of expense that is simply too much for some.
But ingenuity and human resourcefulness seem to be able to overcome all problems, and so the Daily Mail has a fantastic story of a man who built his own dialysis machine that’s been keeping his blood clean and him alive for the last thirteen years.
The machine works like an external kidney. It is made up of two compartments that are connected by a membrane (a film-like structure that allows only some particles to pass through it).
Blood is pumped through one half of the machine, while the dialysis fluid is pumped through the other half.
Hu makes the dialysis fluid by mixing potassium chloride, sodium chloride and sodium hydrogen carbonate (bicarbonate) into purified water.
For the treatment, he inserts two tubes into his arm, which are connected to his dialysis machine. The blood is pumped out of his arm through one of the tubes, is filtered and then returned to his body via the other tube.
(hat tip: ScienceRoll)