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Doctors decide to place a person on dialysis when kidney failure is causing certain conditions:
Abnormal brain function (uremic encephalopathy)
Certain other severe symptoms, such as loss of appetite or vomiting and weight loss
Inflammation of the sac around the heart ( pericarditis Overview of Pericardial Disease Pericardial disease affects the pericardium, which is the flexible two-layered sac that envelops the heart. The pericardium helps keep the heart in position, helps prevent the heart from overfilling... read more )
A high level of acid in the blood ( acidosis Acidosis Acidosis is caused by an overproduction of acid that builds up in the blood or an excessive loss of bicarbonate from the blood (metabolic acidosis) or by a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood... read more ) that does not decrease despite other treatments
Heart failure Heart Failure (HF) Heart failure is a disorder in which the heart is unable to keep up with the demands of the body, leading to reduced blood flow, back-up (congestion) of blood in the veins and lungs, and/or... read more
Total body fluid overload
Fluid overload in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that does not respond to other treatments
A very high level of potassium in the blood ( hyperkalemia Hyperkalemia (High Level of Potassium in the Blood) In hyperkalemia, the level of potassium in blood is too high. A high potassium level has many causes, including kidney disorders, medications that affect kidney function, and consumption of... read more )
A high level of calcium in the blood ( hypercalcemia Hypercalcemia (High Level of Calcium in the Blood) In hypercalcemia, the level of calcium in blood is too high. A high calcium level may result from a problem with the parathyroid glands, as well as from diet, cancer, or disorders affecting... read more )
Greatly reduced kidney function