Centre de dialyse Paris

Dialysis equipment

Equipment required for a haemodialysis session

All the equipment in direct and permanent contact with your blood during the session is single-use.

  • The haemodialysis machine

This prepares the dialysate and circulates it through the dialyser against the current of the blood. Control and monitoring devices ensure that the session runs smoothly and safely.

  • The dialyser

This is a filter comprising hollow synthetic fibres through which the blood circulates, while the dialysate circulates in counter-current outside these fibres. This repeated flow throughout the dialysis session rids the blood of toxic waste, corrects biological abnormalities and eliminates excess water accumulated in the body.

  • The dialysate or dialysis bath

This is a liquid solution prepared by the haemodialysis machine from purified water, with a mineral salt composition similar to that of blood.

  • The extracorporeal circuit

This allows blood to be drawn through the arteriovenous fistula using an arterial needle.
The blood passes through the dialyser and returns to the body "cleaned" by the venous needle.
The basic principle of haemodialysis is to bring your blood into contact with a liquid of a specific composition ("dialysate") through a membrane that ensures the exchanges required for purification.
Your blood travels through a closed circuit including a filter (dialyser) that purifies it. The waste products are collected by the dialysate and then evacuated down the drain.
Your blood leaves and returns via your blood supply route: arteriovenous fistula, prosthesis or catheter. Haemodialysis usually involves three sessions of four to five hours each per week. Whichever method you choose (in-centre dialysis, self-dialysis or home dialysis), the technique remains the same.

  • The needles

At the start of the session, 2 sterile single-use needles are inserted into the vascular access port to gain access to the blood. They are connected to the tubes that make up the extracorporeal circuit.

  • Haemofiltration

The principle of haemofiltration (HF) differs from that of haemodialysis (HD) in that no dialysis fluid is transported in the dialyser and a haemofiltration solution is infused directly into the blood, then eliminated again by ultrafiltration through the haemofilter. In ultrafiltration, the substances to be removed from the blood are transported - entrained with the water - through the filter. The advantage of this convective transport of substances is that molecules of a certain size can also be eliminated (medium-sized molecules such as ß2 microglobulin), whereas their elimination by conventional haemodialysis would be less effective.

  • Haemodiafiltration

Haemodiafiltration (HDF) is a combination of haemodialysis (HD) and haemofiltration (HF), combining the advantages of both processes. Low-molecular-weight substances are eliminated mainly by diffusion, while medium-molecular-weight substances are eliminated by convection. The combined use of haemodialysis and haemofiltration achieves a higher rate of elimination of low- and medium-molecular-weight substances than using either process alone.

  • The haemodialysis catheter

This is a hollow, flexible, 2-way tube inserted into a large vein (internal jugular, subclavian or common femoral), providing direct access to blood for dialysis.
It has one or two outlets for direct connection to the dialyser lines.

A catheter is generally used temporarily when dialysis has to be started urgently, before a definitive approach is created, if it is not yet usable or in the event of complications. In certain situations (where it is impossible to create another permanent approach), a tunnelled catheter (of the Canaud or Quinton type) can be inserted for long-term use.
The catheter is inserted under local or general anaesthetic by a nephrologist, anaesthetist or vascular surgeon in the operating theatre or in the patient's bed, under strict aseptic conditions. An X-ray must be taken to check the patient's position.
Communication with the outside and inside is a source of infection. It must be handled with great care and asepsis, and protected outside dialysis periods by a sterile, watertight dressing.


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5ème étage de la clinique de l’Alma,
166 rue de l’université, Paris 7.

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