Hemodialysis is a life-saving medical modality that cleanses the blood using an artificial kidney, called a dialyzer. Hemodialysis uses contact between the patient's blood and the semipermeable membrane of the extracorporeal dialyzer to remove compounds such as blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, electrolytes, minerals, anions, cations, certain drugs and toxins, and excess fluid from the bloodstream. The extracorporeal dialyzer distinguishes hemodialysis from peritoneal dialysis, which uses a patient's peritoneum as the dialysis membrane. There are 2 main types of hemodialysis: intermittent hemodialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy. This article focuses on intermittent hemodialysis for acute and chronic kidney injury.
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