Dialysis is a life-changing medical procedure for individuals who suffer from kidney failure. In the medical world, the procedure is more commonly known as hemodialysis. Because the kidneys of affected individuals lack the functionality to clean their blood properly, they undergo a hemodialysis procedure several times a week.
The procedure is done through an artificial kidney, which substitutes a normal kidney. Hemodialysis relies on using the highest quality purified water to ensure the procedure’s effectiveness. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective methods of producing purified water for hemodialysis. The processes can produce on an industrial level through reverse osmosis plants.
But what’s the role of a reverse osmosis plant for dialysis? Why is clean water so important for hemodialysis? Moreover, what components of reveres osmosis plants are considered essential for producing pure water for dialysis? We will answer these questions in this article. So, let’s begin.
What Is Reverse Osmosis in Dialysis?
Reverse osmosis is a process that removes solids, contaminants, and microorganisms from water. A reverse osmosis system uses a semi-permeable membrane to achieve the water purity levels necessary for dialysis. Considering many impurities in water sources are potentially dangerous for dialysis patients, reverse osmosis is an essential process used by reverse osmosis plants.
A reverse osmosis system applies pressure to the feed water. As water passes through the membrane, it “captures” the contaminants and impurities, allowing only pure water to pass through. Once the process finishes, the water can then be used in the dialysis machine to support the treatment process.
Why Pure Water is Essential for Hemodialysis.
Before going any further, we must mention the role pure water plays in hemodialysis. Clean water (pure water) is of paramount importance in hemodialysis due to several reasons. Those are:
- Dialysis is a highly sensitive medical procedure that involves directly filtering the patient’s blood. The procedure relies on the use of water in large amounts. As such, contaminants or impurities in the water for dialysis can compromise patient safety and lead to complications.
- Patients undergoing hemodialysis have compromised kidney function, making them more vulnerable to the adverse effects of waterborne toxins. Therefore, providing purified water helps minimize the risk of infection, inflammation, and other health complications.
- People with normal-functioning kidneys have a weekly water intake of 14 liters. Drinking tap water doesn’t harm individuals due to the low amounts individuals with normal-functioning kidneys consume. However, dialysis patients are exposed to nearly 500 liters of water per week. In such large amounts, any water impurities and harmful contaminants can compromise the procedure and, therefore, the patient’s life.
The Role of a Reverse Osmosis Plant for Dialysis.
Reverse osmosis plants are the cornerstone for providing purified water in dialysis centers. These plants can remove many impurities from water sources, aiming to ensure water quality standards for dialysis. These plants effectively remove all the bacteria, contaminants, and similar impurities from the feed water, allowing it to be used for hemodialysis.
Reverse osmosis plants produce purified water, which is then stored and effectively distributed to dialysis centers. The dialysis centers then use the purified water for the process of hemodialysis. As one can imagine, water that meets the quality and purity standards set by medical experts operating in dialysis centers is critically important for dialysis patients.
As such, reverse osmosis plants can produce purified water on an industrial level. That makes them essential for patients with failed kidneys, who rely on dialysis as a means to replace their failing kidneys.
Essential Components of Reverse Osmosis Plants for Dialysis.
To accurately explain the dialysis RO plant process in modern dialysis procedures, we must first explain the processes the feed water goes through to ensure it meets the water quality and purity standards.
Step 1: Water Intake and Pre-Treatment
Despite being the desired water-purifying process for dialysis, not all water sources will be considered for reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis plants undergo a water source selection process where the quality of the source water is carefully considered to ensure it meets the initial requirements.
Then, the pre-treatment process begins once a water source has been selected and approved. In this step, the source water goes through a screening and filtration process where large contaminants are removed. The water pre-treatment systems use processes such as sedimentation and ultrafiltration to remove larger particles from the source water.
Step 2: Reverse Osmosis
The reverse osmosis process uses semi-permeable membranes to “capture” bad particles and harmful microorganisms. The membrane has tiny holes that only allow pure water to pass through it. But before the RO process begins, a reverse osmosis plant must carefully select the right membrane for the task in its systems.
The membrane selection depends on the specific configuration and requirements of dialysis water. As such, experts choose a membrane material that best fits these requirements. Then, experts will regulate the pressure and water flow rate to ensure optimal and efficient purification.
Lastly, the rejected water is disposed of or reused for other purposes.
Step 3: Post-Treatment and Center Distribution
The post-treatment of dialysis water is the final step. In this step, the water undergoes pH adjustment and remineralization to ensure it can be used for dialysis. During the reverse osmosis process, the membranes will also capture plenty of helpful minerals. These minerals must be replenished in acceptable ranges. So experts will reintroduce them in the water before it can be sent to dialysis centers.
Moreover, the process might fail to remove tiny bacteria and contaminants. As such, the water is put under ultraviolet lights (UV lights) to eliminate any remaining pollutants and microorganisms. Finally, once all the steps are completed, the purified water is stored in specialized containers and distributed to dialysis centers.
A reverse osmosis plant for dialysis is vital in providing purified water for hemodialysis treatment. They play a significant role in removing impurities, contaminants, and toxins, thus ensuring the safety and effectiveness of the dialysis process.
By purifying water for hemodialysis, healthcare providers can prioritize the delivery of high-quality water to patients with kidney failure. With continuous advancements in water treatment technology, the future holds promise for further improving the dialysis process and enhancing patient outcomes.
Can NEWater Help?
If you’re in need of reliable and efficient reverse osmosis equipment for your dialysis plant, look no further than NEWater. With over 20 years of experience developing water purifying and treating equipment and technology, we are an expert in providing top-notch solutions for dialysis facilities.
Trust our expertise to deliver the highest quality water for your patients’ hemodialysis needs. Contact NEWater today to explore how they can assist you in optimizing your water treatment processes.
1. Why RO water is used in dialysis?
RO water is used in dialysis because it undergoes a rigorous purification process that removes impurities, minerals, and toxins, ensuring the highest level of water quality required for safe and effective dialysis treatment.
2. Does dialysis use osmosis?
While dialysis involves the movement of solutes and water across a semi-permeable membrane, it does not directly use osmosis. Instead, dialysis utilizes diffusion, ultrafiltration, and convection to remove waste products and excess fluids from the bloodstream.
3. What is reverse osmosis?
Reverse osmosis is a process that purifies water. The process uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove harmful contaminants, impurities, and solids from water. It works by applying pressure to the water, forcing it through the membrane while leaving behind undesirable substances.
4. Does reverse osmosis remove phosphorus?
Yes, reverse osmosis is effective in removing phosphorus from water. The semi-permeable membrane used in the reverse osmosis process can filter out dissolved phosphorus particles, resulting in purified water with reduced phosphorus content.