Kidney and bladder health

18 February 2011

Renal failure and its effects on the blood

Renal failure can have serious consequences on the blood, resulting in anaemia.

After the introduction of dialysis and kidney transplants, the use of erythropoietin therapy is seen as one of the major advances in the treatment of chronic renal failure.

Iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies that can occur with chronic disease, also cause anaemia, and must be addressed as well. Haemodialysis can contribute to anaemia due to loss of blood cells during the procedure and decreased survival of the red blood cells. The latter is thought to be caused by high levels of urea (the breakdown product of protein), and possibly by the effects of haemodialysis.


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