The process of using a machine, instead of the kidneys, to filter a person's blood. Previously used as renal replacement therapy for people with end stage renal failure or acute renal failure, it has lately come into use also by people employing artificial blood, which would overwhelm ordinary human kidneys.
The process involves a semipermeable membrane, part of the dialyzer, usually made out of cellophane. Blood is circulated on one side of the membrane, while dialysis fluid, or the dialysate, is circulated on the other side. Waste products pass through the membrane into the dialysate and out the body. The subject is given a continuous infusion of low molecular weight heparin during dialysis to prevent blood clots from forming in the dialyzer, but too much heparin can stop all blood clotting and lead to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia afterwards. Accordingly, when an AP member is cut, they lose close to twice as much blood as an ordinary person; however, new dialysis fluids are currently being developed to try to counteract this.
Every AP's computer console and bed are outfitted with their own dialysis machine that remains on standby 24 hours a day.