A master of multi-tasking inside the human
body? And there are two of them? Oh – I know! It’s the kidneys! For human beings, they’re essential to survival. In fact, the kidneys are small biological
marvels. They produce urine, thereby removing excess
water and toxins, produce hormones, regulate mineral levels and blood pressure, make Vitamin
D, and maintain the body’s acid-base balance. Every day these versatile organs cleanse all
the body’s blood about three-hundred times. If the kidneys become diseased or fail, it’s
a serious health problem, because excess water and waste products from the body’s metabolism
can no longer be filtered out of the blood. To prevent toxins from accumulating, the blood
must now be regularly cleansed – with the help of dialysis. The most widely used form of dialysis therapy
is called hemodialysis. At the center of hemodialysis is a dialysis
filter, known as a dialyzer. Serving as an artificial kidney, it cleanses
the patient’s blood during the treatment. Inside a plastic tube 30 centimeters long
– about 12 inches – the blood flows through up to twenty-thousand hair-fine fibers. Microscopic pores in the fibers filter out
metabolic waste and excess water, which the dialysis fluid then carries away. As the blood-cleansing process proceeds inside
the dialyzer, a dialysis machine pumps the blood, administers anti-coagulants, and monitors
circulation. A treatment can take from three to six hours,
usually three times a week. Chronic kidney failure afflicts more than
three million people worldwide. Most require life-saving dialysis treatment. Fresenius Medical Care is the world leader
in dialysis. About half of all dialyzers and dialysis machines
sold worldwide are made in our plants. In our more than thirty-five hundred dialysis
clinics, we treat over three-hundred thousand patients. Every 0.7 seconds we start a dialysis treatment
for a patient somewhere in the world. We are giving patients with chronic kidney
failure a future worth living – and the best possible quality of life. Fresenius Medical Care