Hemodialysis is a process that uses artificial membrane to remove waste, such as urea, from the blood, restore proper balance of electrolytes in the blood, and eliminate extra fluid from the body. When kidney function goes below 10% to 15%, it is no longer able to filter blood. This causes toxins to build up in the body along with excess fluid. Hemodialysis is used to remove these toxins. It is an effective treatment for those with end stage renal disease. There are different types of hemodialysis. In-center hemodialysis is performed in hospitals or dialysis centers. Home hemodialysis is done at home three days a week in presence of a technician. Daily home hemodialysis is done at home five to seven days a week. Nocturnal home hemodialysis is done overnight in six to eight hours.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, 10% of the global population is affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD). Over 2 million people currently receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant. Of these 2 million people receive treatment for kidney failure, the majority are treated in only five countries: the U.S., Japan, Germany, Brazil, and Italy. These five countries represent only 12% of the world’s population. Only 20% are treated in about 100 developing countries which make up over 50% of the world’s population.
According to 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, chronic kidney disease was ranked 27th in the list of causes of total number of deaths worldwide in 1990, but rose to 18th in 2010. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Health Information Center, over 661,000 people in the U.S. have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant. In 2013, 88.2% of patients began renal replacement therapy with hemodialysis, 9.0% started with peritoneal dialysis, and 2.6% received preemptive kidney transplant. As of 2013, 63.7% of all ESRD patients were receiving hemodialysis therapy, 6.8% were being treated with peritoneal dialysis, and 29.2% had a functioning kidney transplant.