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Historically, Dr. Willem Kolff is considered as the father of dialysis. This young Dutch doctor constructed the first dialyzer (artificial kidney) in 1943. The path to creating this innovation for its time began in the late 1930s when he worked in a small ward at the University Hospital in Groningen, the Netherlands.

The idea of ​​developing a blood purification machine was born for Dr. Kolf after observing a patient suffering from kidney failure. He decided to find a way to develop a machine to replace the work of the kidneys. When his invention was complete, he attempted to treat over a dozen patients with acute kidney failure over the next two years. Although only one of the treatments performed proved successful, he continued to experiment in improving his design. However, Kolf’s device only treats acute kidney failure, not end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Dr. Kolff’s invention is considered the first modern drum dialyzer and remained the standard for the next decade. After the end of World War II, he donated the five machines he made to hospitals around the world. One of those hospitals was Mount Sinai in New York, where he later moved to continue his research and scientific work.

The first patient in the world to be treated with repeated hemodialysis was Clyde Shields, whose first dialysis was in Seattle, USA, on March 9, 1960.

Dr. Belding Scribner, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, has developed a way for patients with end-stage kidney failure to receive treatment through an access point in their arm. In 1962, Dr. Scribner opened the first formal dialysis clinic for patients. Subsequently, he also developed a portable dialysis machine that allows patients to receive this type of treatment at home.



The kidneys play an extraordinary role in the overall activity of our organism. They perform important functions that keep us healthy by filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood. They also maintain optimal levels of electrolytes such as sodium, calcium and phosphate, control blood pressure and participate in the synthesis of hormones that are necessary to keep bones and blood healthy.

Each kidney contains approximately one million tiny tubules called nephrons, which filter waste and extra fluid from the blood, which is later excreted from the body as urine. Usually, people are born with two kidneys, but sometimes, due to a number of reasons, life is completely possible with only one. In these cases, the only kidney is compensatory enlarged and takes up to 80% of the function of the missing one, which is quite enough for normal existence.

The main reasons why a person may have one kidney include the following:

– Congenital defect – a condition called renal agenesis means that a person is born with only one kidney.

– In another condition, renal dysplasia, a person is born with two kidneys, but only one is functioning.

– Surgical removal (nephrectomy) – removed kidney as a result of cancer or other disease

– Removal of a kidney after trauma or donation.

Many people lead normal and fulfilling lives with one kidney, although long-term health problems may arise that require specific monitoring and treatment.

Some of the problems that can occur include:

– Hypertension – Because the kidneys are involved in maintaining healthy blood pressure, many people with a single kidney are at slightly increased risk of hypertension.

– Proteinuria – Excess protein in the urine can be an indicator of kidney damage and people with one kidney often have above average levels of protein in the blood.

– Decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – GFR indicates how well the kidney filters fluids and waste products from the blood. Often people with one kidney have a reduced GFR.

In conclusion, we could say that the greater percentage of cases lead a completely normal and fulfilling life. It is important to attend preventive examinations at least once a year in order to prevent complications and kidney diseases.