[Dr. Kurt Steinitz (1907-1966) and the 60th anniversary of the first hemodialysis in the Middle East]

Harefuah. 2010 Feb;149(2):108-10, 123.
[Article in Hebrew]


The 60th anniversary of Israel coincides with the advent of the first hemodialysis in the Middle East. It was performed by Dr. Kurt Steinitz--a Jewish immigrant from Breslau, then in Germany. After spending 9 years at the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine as a clinical biochemist, Steinitz became the director of the chemical laboratory of the Rothschild Hospital in Haifa in 1945. During the spring of 1948, he completed the construction of a hemodialysis machine according to articles published by Kolff (The Netherlands) and mainly by Alwall (Sweden). Three anuric patients underwent hemodialysis. Only the last patient survived. She was a young woman who became anuric after an operation for an extrauterine pregnancy and an incompatible blood transfusion. During the 28th and the 30th September 1948, she had three successful hemodialysis sessions and improved promptly. She lived another fifteen fruitful years. Later, Dr Steinitz' interest shifted to other medical fields, thus leaving the stage of hemodialysis to Prof. David Ullman from the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Ullman established the first nephrology unit with a regular dialysis service, becoming the pioneer of modern nephrology in Israel.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Blood Group Incompatibility
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Middle East
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Abdominal / surgery
  • Renal Dialysis / history*
  • Turkey

Personal name as subject

  • Kurt Steinitz