Failure: A sudden decline in kidney function. This
may be triggered by a number of acute disease processes. In most cases, the
kidneys can recover from almost complete loss of function.
Blood Pressure: The pressure of the blood on the walls of the blood vessels.
Measured in two numbers. Blood pressure is always given as these two numbers,
the systolic and diastolic pressures. Usually they are written one above or
before the other, such as 120/80 mmHg. The top number is the systolic and the
bottom the diastolic. When the two measurements are written down, the systolic
pressure is the first or top number, and the diastolic pressure is the second or
bottom number (for example, 120/80). If your blood pressure is 120/80, you say
that it is "120 over 80."
fine, flexible tube that is inserted into an artery or vein.
Kidney Disease (CKD): A progressive condition, in
which the kidneys are not functioning effectively and
may be unable to produce red blood cells, to control blood pressure or to rid the body of waste through urination.
Failure: gradual failure of the kidneys which
allows the body to adjust gradually, tolerating and compensating for the
Creatinine: A waste product of protein metabolism that is found in the urine. Can be
measured to assess overall kidney function. An abnormally elevated blood
creatinine level is seen in those individuals with kidney insufficiency and
Diabetes: A condition/disease caused by the body's
inability to process sugar, usually due to a lack of insulin.
Dialysis: An artificial blood-filtering process used to clean the blood of
malfunctioning kidneys in patients.
Endocrinologist: A physician who specializes in the treatment of hormone disorders
such as diabetes.
Renal Disease: (ESRD) Severe kidney dysfunction
reached when kidney function is reduced to 10 percent or less of normal function
Fistula: Man-made access performed surgically to
allow greater blood flow and more efficient dialysis. Usually constructed by
joining artery to vein
Graft: A procedure where an artery and a vein are connected
with an artificial tube.
Hematocrit: The measurement of the red blood cells in the blood. A low level
Hemodialysis: The use of a machine to clean wastes from the blood after
the kidneys have failed. The blood travels through tubes
to a dialyzer, which removes wastes and extra fluid.
The cleaned blood then flows through another set of tubes back into the body.
Hemoglobin: The part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen to all
parts of the body. Hemoglobin is measured in
pressure: A blood pressure of
140/90 or higher is considered high blood pressure. If one or both numbers are
usually high, you have high blood pressure.
Hypertension: Persistently high blood
Kidneys: The kidneys are a pair of organs located in the right and left
side of the abdomen which clear poisons from the blood and maintain water
balance in the body by excreting urine.
Nephrologist: A specialist who is expert in the treatment of
kidney insufficiency, kidney disease, and related hypertension.
Nephron: Each kidney is made up of about 1 million nephrons.
Vascular: A general term used to describe the area on the body where blood
is drawn for circulation through a hemodialysis circuit. A vascular access may
be an arteriovenous fistula, graft or a catheter.