Merck Manual

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Reasons for Dialysis in Kidney Failure

Reasons for Dialysis in Kidney Failure

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)

  • A high level of acid in the blood (acidosis) that does not decrease despite other treatments

  • 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)

  • A high level of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia)

  • Greatly reduced kidney function