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Portable renal dialysis machine, England, 1975-1980

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Waste products cannot be removed from the blood when a person’s kidneys fail. Serious illness inevitably follows. Dialysis is one way to treat the condition. When these machines were first introduced just after the Second World War, they were bulky and for hospital use only. This machine was used for renal dialysis. It is designed for use at home or on holiday. Such flexibility allowed patients a level of independence. The machine could be used away from hospital for up to 14 days. The machine mimics the functions of the kidney. It works by filtering the blood. The suitcase contains two separate hydraulic circuits. One is for dialysis preparation from clean tap water. The other controls the flow of prepared dialysis fluid and blood through the machine. The machine is called the ‘Portalysis 101’. It was made by Tecmed Ltd. Derriford Hospital donated it to the Science Museum’s collections.

Object number:

1986-1572

 

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    Glossary: kidney dialysis machine

    A machine used to artificially replicate the function of the kidneys.

    Glossary: kidney failure

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