Dialysis is a procedure to filter and clean the blood for patients who have kidneys that no longer function.
In the United States, about 400,000 patients are on dialysis treatment.
There are two types of dialysis, peritoneal and hemodialysis.
Peritoneal dialysis is when patients have a tube inserted into their abdomen, and every day they connect a bag of cleansing fluid to the tube, which goes into their abdomen and removes waste products such as urea and creatinine. Peritoneal dialysis can be performed by the patient in their own home.
Hemodialysis is a procedure where a patient has the waste products removed by filtering the blood. This is usually done at a dialysis center. Patients go to the center 3 times a week, and a dialysis treatment lasts 3-4 hours.
The first dialysis machine was invented in 1943. Dialysis use has increased 68% over the last 20 years due to increased rates of diabetes and hypertension.
The average cost of dialysis for a single patient is $88,000 a year. The total cost of dialysis in the United States is $34 billion a year, which is mostly covered by Medicare.
Patients can get off of dialysis if they get a kidney transplant. There are 100,000 patients on the waiting list for a kidney, but only 16,000 kidney transplants are performed a year due to a shortage of kidney donation.