preservatives and artificial flavours, from the liquids that we drink such as alcoholic drinks and liquid medicinal preparations, and from imbibed poisons taken in accidentally or intentionally. Many die from kidney failure each day and in the U.K. alone, about 5,000 people develop renal failure annually (RDS Online, 2000). Kidney failure can be averted by performing either a kidney transplant or by hooking up the patient in a dialysis machine. Using a dialysis machine involves connecting the patient’s circulatory system to a huge dialysis machine or artificial kidney which takes the role of a pair of kidneys. About 19,000 of people suffering from kidney failure are connected to dialysis machines (BBC, 2004). A kidney transplant on the other hand, involves surgically removing a patient’s failed kidneys and replacing them with a healthy pair from a kidney donor. Such operations are rare and risky, and sometimes a kidney patient must wait for a year or more to receive a healthy kidney. More often than not, a patient dies before he or she receives the kidney. Both methods however are seen as the only viable solutions in the treatment of kidney failure available today. A comparison of both methods of kidney failure treatment and their procedures and the effectivity of each is discussed herein.
A kidney dialysis machine replaces the kidney in patients with kidney failure. It works by connecting the patient in the machine through a series of tubes connected to his/her circulatory system. The blood flowing out of the patient’s body will then go through a series of a series of special membranes that filter off the toxins from the blood. The procedure was first performed by John Abdell in 1914. He first hooked up small mammals into his dialysis machine which had treated parchment for filter membranes. Blood clotting was a problem, and Abdell solved this by treating the blood with hirudin, an anti-coagulant from leeches. After 2 to 3 hours the