Renal Dialysis

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Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

In this chapter, renal dialysis is outlined and explained, as well as the implications for massage therapists. Renal dialysis is a procedure used to clean and filter the blood artificially. It is primarily for those individuals that require artificial replacement for lost kidney function (such as those with renal failure). It is fascinating to read how the machines involved are able to reproduce some of the functions of the kidney. For massage therapists, a light massage of short duration is best for those undergoing renal dialysis, since they are often taking anticoagulants. It is important to determine the best timing of massages for the client. This is because they may feel extremely tired immediately after a treatment session, and they also feel progressively worse as wastes build up between treatments. The massage therapist should consult with the client about the best time to schedule massage treatments. This information also lead me to investigate how dialysis started. Wikipedia.com notes the following, "Dr. Willem Kolff, a Dutch physician, constructed the first working dialyzer in 1943 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Due to the scarcity of available resources, Kolff had to improvise and build the initial machine using sausage skins, drinks cans, a washing machine and various other items which were available at the time. Over the following two years, Kolff treated 16 patients who suffered from acute kidney failure using his machine, but the results proved unsuccessful. Then in 1945 a 67 year old woman in uremic coma regained consciousness following 11 hours of haemodialysis with the dialyzer, and lived for another 7 years before passing away of an unrelated condition. This was the first patient to ever be successfully treated with dialysis."

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