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Glossary

Acute Renal 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."

Catheter: A fine, flexible tube that is inserted into an artery or vein.

Chronic 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.

Chronic Renal Failure:gradual failure of the kidneys which allows the body to adjust gradually, tolerating and compensating for the impaired function.

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 kidney failure.

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.

End-Stage 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 means anemia.

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

High blood 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 pressure.

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.

 

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