A dialysis is a form of treatment that cleans the blood of toxins when the kidneys are not working. The patient's blood enters the dialysis machine and goes through a special filter that works like the kidney to remove fluid and toxins from the blood. The use of the dialysis machine at QCH ICU is termed sustained low efficiency dialysis (SLED), this form of dialysis is short term. A patient undergoing SLED treatment must be connected to the dialysis machine by tubing that allows blood to flow to and from the dialysis machine. The tubing is connected to the patient by way of a dialysis shunt or catheter.
The dialysis catheter is placed by the doctor into the patient's shoulder (subclavian), neck (jugular), or groin (femoral) vein. When the patient needs dialysis, the catheter is attached to the dialysis machine by dialysis tubing. The patient's blood flows into the dialysis machine and is filtered to remove fluids and/or toxins, and then returned back to the patient. The dialysis catheter is usually used for dialysis only.