How dialysis treatment for kidney failure relies on an understanding of the principles of diffusion

Maher states that an infection or physical injury to the kidneys can affect the dialyzing ability of the kidneys. A malfunction of the human kidneys can lead to the accumulation of poisonous molecules such as urea in blood (Maher, 1989). A toxic level of urea in blood is fatal. A dialyzing machine works like the kidneys. The difference between a dialysing machine and the human kidneys is the reverse dialysis, which returns small molecules like glucose to the body. The natural kidneys perform endocrine function, which is not possible in the dialysis machine (Maher, 1989).
Chung Lee (2006) explains that dialysis is a short-term treatment option to sustain the lives of patients waiting for a kidney transplant. In 2006, research showed that in the globally there were over 1 million patients dependent on dialysis. In the United States 506,256, citizens were under dialysis treatment. In the United Kingdom data from the UK renal registry indicated that around 45, 484 adults were under dialysis treatment. There are two dialysis procedures available for patients experiencing renal problems: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis involves pumping the patient’s blood through an artificial dialysis membrane present in the dialysis machine. The waste products in the patient’s blood diffuse through the membrane to the dialysate. This movement occurs due to the presence of a concentration gradient between the two media.
In peritoneal dialysis, the peritoneum in the abdominal cavity works as the dialysis membrane. The peritoneum has a dense capillary network, which makes it a suitable media for the dialysis procedure. The dialysate is pumped to the abdominal cavity via a catheter. In peritoneal dialysis, toxic substances diffuse to the dialysate through the blood capillaries semi permeable membrane (Maher, 1989). Cheng explains that a patient can self-administer peritoneal dialysis.