Thursday, 28 July 2016
Early trial shows wearable artificial kidney could be viable alternative to haemodialysis
While haemodialysis has improved since its introduction in the 1960s, there are still some drawbacks, most notably being tethered to a machine for several hours, multiple times a week. The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle has tested a wearable artificial kidney (WAK) that could give patients more freedom while dialyzing.
The WAK comprises miniaturized dialyzer components worn around the waist like a tool belt. It is connected to patients by a catheter, according to a University of Washington article. The data from the 7-patient safety and efficacy trial were published last week in JCI Insight.
No serious adverse events were recorded and the device effectively cleared the patients' blood of waste, such as urea, creatinine and phosphorus, as well as excess water and salt. It also regulated body fluid volume and composition the way a real kidney would.