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Dialysis treatments perform the functions of healthy kidneys, keeping the body in balance. A dialyser is an artificial kidney, which performs the same functions as a normal kidney. A dialysis machine moves the blood through the dialyser and back into the patient. Through the process of diffusion and osmosis, the dialyser removes waste products and fluid, as well as maintains the appropriate amount of potassium, sodium and other electrolytes that are compatible to maintain life.
Dialysis is needed when a person's kidneys can no longer take care of their body's needs, usually by the time the kidneys have lost about 85 to 90 percent of their function.