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Know All About Dialyzer Reuse for Dialysis

  • Highlights

  • Blood cleansing with dialyzers

  • Reusing dialyzers greatly reduces medical waste

  • An affordable process for doctors

  • Limitations of reusing dialyzers

Conversion of food into energy produces harmful toxic materials. The main function of the kidneys is to filter out the toxic waste. Kidneys also help to maintain the balance of water, acids, and electrolyte.
However, when the kidneys fail to function properly, patients have to resort to dialysis. Dialysis is a process of filtering blood with the help of a machine (hemodialysis), or fluid (peritoneal dialysis).


Dialyzer is a filter encased in a plastic, and inserted into a holder of the dialysis machine. It is this filter that does the cleaning work. Dialyzer, contains a semi-permeable membrane. Blood and dialysate (special dialysis fluid) flows through this semi-permeable membrane from two opposite ends.
The counter-current flow of the blood, and the dialysate helps to remove waste, and maintain the required concentration of different solutes After the filtration process, the clean blood is returned to the body, and the dialysate containing the waste products is drained off.

Reuse of Dialyzer

Hemodialyzer reuse is a practice of using the same dialyzer several times by a single patient. This practice has been prevalent in US since 1980s. The basic steps involved in dialyzer reprocessing are:
- Rinsing
- Cleaning
- Performance testing
- Disinfection and sterilisation
Dialyzer reprocessing can be done manually or by the use of automated equipment.

How Long Can the Dialyzer Be Reused?

The dialyzer can be reused as long as certain test parameters are maintained. The 3 important tests are:
- TCV or total cell volume
- Urea Reduction Ratio (URR)
- Kt/V
TCV should always be at least 80% of what it was first, as per National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF’s K/DOQI). The URR should be at least 65% and Kt/V should be at least 1.2. As long as these parameters are maintained, the dialyzer can be reused. The dialyzer is marked with the patient's name so that it is not used by another patient.
There are different sizes of dialyzers which are recommended by the doctor based on the blood volume. Compared to the use of 153 single-use dialyzers on an average, only 9.6 reuse dialyzers are utilised in a year. This can reduce the medical waste by more than 60 million pounds.

How doctors can take their practice to the next level

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Bajaj Finserv offers business loans to doctors up to Rs.35 lakh with added benefits like 24-hour disbursal, doorstep document pickup and Flexi Term Loan facility. With these special loans, you can integrate technology in your practice operations and streamline operations and boost profitability.

Doctors can make dialysis affordable in the developing countries, by recommending the reuse of dialyzers. The cost of a dialysis machine can be Rs.6.5 lakh on the upper side. Medical dialyzers costs can range from Rs. 500 - Rs.1500 on an average. Dialyzer reprocessing machine may cost up to Rs.5.5 lakh. These costs can be financed through innovative lending products like doctor loans available in the market.
Reuse of dialyzer will make dialysis affordable, which in turn will increase the patient base for the doctor.

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