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Kidneys

Critical Care

The purpose of the kidneys is to remove waste from the blood which is carried out of the body in the urine when we pass water.

Kidney failure - A number of problems can cause the kidneys to be damaged and fail to remove waste from the body. Dehydration, low blood pressure, inflammation of the kidneys, effects of medicines or x-ray tests and blockage of the tubes that take urine out of the body are common reasons for the kidneys to fail. Patients with problems like high blood pressure or diabetes that have already damaged the kidney have a greater risk of getting kidney failure for one of the reasons listed above. When the kidneys cannot remove all of the wastes from the blood, waste builds up and can cause problems. Hemodialysis is used to remove wastes of the body that are normally removed by the kidneys (see Information Sheet on Hemodialysis).