Hemodialysis in the ICU

Describe the process of hemodialysis in the intensive care unit for patients with renal failure.

Every year almost one lakh cases of renal failure are reported and almost 10% of the Indian population is suffering from CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease). To give these patients relief and effective treatment doctors opt for dialysis. A study has shown that in 2018, almost 175,000 patients had dialysis to fight this battle. Dialysis is one of the main ways of treating real failure or CKD. In this blog, we will focus on the types of dialysis and other relevant things related to it. If you or your loved ones are suffering from renal failure and searching for the best experts for dialysis, you can connect with Neotia Getwel Multispecialty Hospital. They have expertise in acute & chronic kidney diseases, haemodialysis, glomerulonephritis, renal biopsy, glomerular disease & hemodiafiltration.


1. What is dialysis?

When your kidney fails to filter the waste products from your blood, the wastes and toxins start building up in your bloodstream. Dialysis works to filter out those waste products and excess fluid from the blood. In a nutshell, dialysis is a treatment procedure for people who have renal failure or chronic kidney disease.

2. What are the types of dialysis?

There are two types of dialysis and the types are-
Peritoneal dialysis.
In this blog, we will focus on hemodialysis and its details.

2.1. What is hemodialysis?

In the hemodialysis process, a machine takes blood out of your body, cleans it with a dialyzer (a prosthetic kidney), and then puts the cleaned blood back into your body. This three- to five-hour procedure can happen three times a week in a hospital or dialysis facility. However, make sure that you are doing it with the help of the experts. In Neotia Getwel Multispecialty Hospital, you are able to take the assistance of the best medical professionals.

2.2. What are the things that go before the hemodialysis?

Before heading to hemodialysis, it is important to have a minor operation first which helps to access the bloodstream more easily.

Arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula): In this process, the surgeon connects an artery and vein in your arm.

Arteriovenous graft (AV graft): Sometimes surgeons see that the artery and veins are too short to connect. In that case, the surgeon uses a graft (soft, hollow tube) to connect the artery and vein.
This graft helps in accessing the blood easily and if the dialysis needs to be done quickly then surgeons place a catheter (thin tube) into a vein in your neck, chest or leg for temporary access.

2.3. What is the process of hemodialysis?
During the hemodialysis process, blood gets removed through a needle and blood gets transferred into a dialyzer filter. The dialyzer filter moves the blood to move waste into a dialysis solution. The dialysis solution contains water, salt and other additives such as sodium hypochlorite (bleach), sodium carbonate, and peracetic acid/ hydrogen peroxide blend (i.e., Minncare, Dialox).
After removing the waste products from the blood, the blood gets reentered into the body. During this process, the surgeon or the medical officer keeps an eye on the blood pressure level of the patient and controls the speed of the blood flow according to that.

2.4. Effects of hemodialysis:

● Chest pain or back pain.
● Headaches.
● Itchy skin.
● Muscle cramps.
● Restless legs syndrome.

If you or your loved ones face any kind of these issues, consult your doctor as early as possible.

3. What are the benefits of hemodialysis?

Hemodialysis is one of the most effective ways of treating renal failure or CKD. The benefits are-
Hemodialysis helps in removing the waste products from the body easily and quickly
It helps in controlling the blood pressure effectively.
It also helps in making a balance of important minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, in the blood.
As this process removes the waste products from the blood, so, only after this process the doctor be able to support the patient with necessary medicine & food. So, the patient recovers faster.

4. How does hemodialysis get done in the intensive care unit (ICU)?

If a patient is facing renal failure or CKD it is important to take care of them in the intensive care unit (ICU). The above-mentioned steps are followed in the ICU.
Hemodialysis involves inserting a big intravenous line in the neck or upper thigh to access a central vein. The patient’s blood is then drawn and fed through a dialysis machine. This device “cleans” or purifies the blood; the “cleaned” blood is afterwards injected back into the patient via a different intravenous line branch. Usually, this therapy is continuously administered at the patient’s bedside.

5. What can you do to keep your kidney healthy?

Although this blog is solely about hemodialysis. However, we believe that prevention is better than cure. So, here are some tips to keep your kidney healthy & fit. The tips are-

● Consume healthy foods such as fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
● Cut on your salt intake. Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.
● Exercise regularly
● Quit smoking.
● Limit your alcohol intake level.
● Manage your diabetes, heart issues and high blood pressure. These are the slides which increase the risk of kidney-related issues significantly.
● If you are obese, start acting now.

Final words: The number of renal failure and CKD patients is increasing in India and doctors are saying that this increasing number is the effect of negligence. Do not ignore your kidney health at all. We hope this blog has helped you to know everything about hemodialysis. Stay informed and stay fit.



Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction