The process of haemodialysis relies upon a diffusive gradient across the membrane contained in the haemo-dialyser or artificial kidney to facilitate solute and fluid removal from the patient during treatment as well as to normalise electrolyte imbalances. To permit this, whilst blood flows on one side of the membrane or is contained within the hollow fibre, dialysis fluid, a buffered electrolyte solution, flows on the outer side of the membrane or around the hollow fibre. This article focuses on the importance of dialysis fluid composition and the role that this plays on both morbidity and long-term management of patients undergoing regular dialysis treatment.

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