December 1958

The Role of Hemodialysis (Artificial Kidney) in Acute Poisoning

Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

From the Department of Medicine and the Renal Laboratory, Georgetown University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(6):896-913. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260230042007

The role of the artificial kidney in acute human poisoning may be considered in two distinct categories: (1) dialyzable poisons, wherein the rate of removal is critical to the welfare of the patient, and (2) nephrotoxic poisons, which produce damage to the kidneys and are not qualitatively different from other causes of acute renal insufficiency. In some instances, general toxicity may be produced from the poison itself, while in others it is a product of the uremic syndrome. It is the purpose of the present study to review eight years of experience with clinical dialyses in acute poisonings and to summarize related studies, with particular emphasis on the role of the artificial kidney in dialyzable poisons.

Dialyzable Poisons  The effective use of hemodialysis in any acute poisoning is based on the following assumptions:

  1. That the poison molecule can diffuse through cellophane from plasma water and has a reasonable removal rate,

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