Dialysis is primarily used to provide an artificial replacement for lost kidney function (renal replacement therapy) due to renal failure. Dialysis may be used for very sick patients who have suddenly but temporarily, lost their kidney function (acute renal failure) or for quite stable patients who have permanently lost their kidney function (stage 5 chronic kidney disease). When healthy, the kidneys maintain or "filter" the body's internal equilibrium of water and minerals (sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfate) and the kidneys remove from the blood the daily metabolic load of fixed hydrogen ions. The kidneys also function as a part of the endocrine system producing erythropoietin and 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (calcitriol). Dialysis is an imperfect treatment to replace kidney function because it does not correct the endocrine functions of the kidney. Dialysis treatments replace some of these functions through diffusion (waste removal) and ultrafiltration (fluid removal).
"Hemodialysis means "cleaning the blood" - and that is exactly what this treatment does. Blood is circulated through a machine which contains a dialyzer (also called an artificial kidney). The dialyzer has two spaces separated by a thin membrane. Blood passes on one side of the membrane and dialysis fluid passes on the other. The wastes and excess water pass from the blood through the membrane into the dialysis fluid, which is then discarded. The cleaned blood is returned to your bloodstream.
"The following definition appears in the glossary of the JCAHO 2009 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual:
Life Support Equipment: Any device used for the purpose of sustaining life and whose failure to perform its primary function, when used according to manufacturer’s instructions and clinical protocol, will lead to patient death in the absence of immediate intervention (examples include ventilators, heart-lung bypass machines).
Defibrillation is a response to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electricity to the affected heart with a defibrillator. The dose of electricity restores a normal heart rhythm, allowing the heart to continue to function in the patient. Therefore, the Joint Commission considers defibrillators life support equipment.
As it is required that organizations maintain an inventory of all medical equipment or selected medical equipment categorized by physical risk associated with use (including all life support equipment), defibrillators must be included in an organization's medical equipment inventory.
Maintenance activities then must be identified for equipment on the inventory. A maintenance strategy for defibrillators could include a range of activities from a visual inspection of the single-use AED (automatic external defibrillator) to the daily testing of a defibrillator in clinical use settings based on organization policy."
- 2008K, Fresenius
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- ↑ Joint Commission. "Defibrillators - Life Support or Non-life Support Equipment." 15 June 2009. http://www.jointcommission.org/mobile/standards_information/jcfaqdetails.aspx?StandardsFAQId=52&StandardsFAQChapterId=64