Hemodialysis therapy is life-sustaining. The machine and equipment involved in these treatments, specifically a dialysis machine, requires specialized parts and preventative maintenance.

Treatments can’t be missed, so dialysis machine maintenance is of the utmost importance. Sometimes, testing and standard procedures can leave you turning up empty-handed. No faults detected and parts are marked as operational. You may be left scratching your head, wondering, “Am I looking for and at the right things?”.

It’s hard to tell, unless you are familiar with the vast intricate working components of a dialysis machine.

How Does a Dialysis Machine Work?

Understanding how a dialysis machine operates can give you a better insight into just how much attention to detail is required for the maintenance of this equipment.

  1. Blood flows into the body through one of two tubes. These tubes are connected via what is called hemodialysis access. The access will either be a fistula, a graft, or a catheter.
  2. Monitors and pumps work together in unison to ensure that the pressure is ideal.
  3. Once the blood enters the dialyzer, it is then filtered. This is where there is a dialysate solution to “clean” the blood.
  4. This used up solution then exits the machine and the cleaned blood is pressure monitored once more.
  5. The cleaned blood enters the body through the second tube in the access.

What is Dialysate?

A dialysate solution can vary depending on the individual patient’s needs. The solution is made up of water, electrolytes, and salt. It helps to clean the blood by removing waste and is utilized by the dialyzer. The dialyzer is made up of very tiny mesh tubes, allowing the waste from the blood to be filtered out.

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Dialysis Machine Maintenance Checklist

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General Operation

Every dialysis machine has a monitoring screen, which allows healthcare professionals to view metrics in real time to assess how the machine is operating. Each function that the machine performs is monitored. This includes pump speed, pressure, and temperature. The monitoring screen ensures the patient receives a safe and accurate treatment session.

If an alert sounds, this is indicative that there is an issue with the machine’s operations or functions that should be addressed immediately. 

Disinfection

After each dialysis treatment procedure, as part of the dialysis machine maintenance protocol, the machine must be completely cleansed and sterilized. In order to do this, the machine must be equipped with specialized plumbing. This allows the dialysis machine to close off specific loops in order for a saline or sterilized water solution to be run through the tubing.

The disinfection process requires a lot of power from the dialysis machine to be used. The solution that runs through the tubes will need to be heated to a certain temperature, in order to ensure sterilization. While line-power is sometimes sufficient enough, this is not always the case. Batteries or ultracapacitors may also need to be used to achieve the power level required.

Disinfection Process Part A:

These checklists are not comprehensive and should only be utilized as helpful guides. Cleaning protocols may change depending on COVID-19 regulations.

  • Disconnect tubing from the machine.
  • Discard tubing in a specialized leak proof container.
  • Check for blood on surfaces.
  • Empty the priming bucket.
  • Make sure the patient has left the station.
  • Discard single-use supplies.
  • Remove gloves and follow hand washing procedures.

Disinfection Process Part B:

  • First of all, put on sterile gloves.
  • Next, apply a disinfectant to all surfaces and air-dry.
  • Keep used items away from the station.
  • Disinfect the emptied priming bucket.
  • Remove gloves and follow hand washing procedures.

Now the dialysis machine has been sanitized for the next patient to use.

Pumps

Pumps in these dialysis machines are powered by specialized motors. These pumps are used for the various fluids that help the machine remain effective. This include blood, water, and saline. Precise measurements are often required in order for these pumps to operate optimally.

Sensors

Sensors are needed in order for the dialysis machine to monitor various functions. Blood pressure, motor speed, temperature, and oxygen saturation are all monitored using sensors. Inactive or malfunctioning sensors could lead to inaccurate readings, as well as delayed response times.

Power Supply

Many different components make up a dialysis machine. For this reason, different power levels are needed. The power supply will need to come from a power source with multiple output switching regulators. Safety regulations dictate the working operations of the power supply, including the voltage and temperature.

Dialysis Machine Maintenance Checklist & Tips

This checklist is not comprehensive and should only be utilized as a helpful guide.

  • Have back up machines at the ready, in case of an emergency, for when other dialysis machines are being serviced.
  • Ensure self-test features are operating to assist with fault detection.
  • Cleanse and sterilize the machine after every procedure.
  • Always utilize purified water when servicing dialysis equipment. This helps to prevent contamination.
  • Methodically schedule preventative maintenance, keeping in mind that emergencies do sometimes arise.
  • Review the service schedule with nurses and clinical staff that will be directly interacting with the equipment.

How Can I Remember All of This?

We have good news. You don’t have to! As a facility operator, your job is to completely ensure your healthcare professionals are managing client treatment programs with expert-level proficiency. This means that all biomedical equipment management needs to be fine tuned.

We’ll take it from here!

Scheduled and Periodic Maintenance

Neglecting your dialysis machine maintenance means that your biomedical equipment is more susceptible to malfunctioning or completely failing. By not regularly maintaining your equipment, including sanitization, you are affecting the lifespan of that equipment. Having scheduled or periodic maintenance of your dialysis machines means you are being proactive in preventing downtimes and potential accidents.

Repair and Replacement of Essential Parts

Working with broken parts, unclean surfaces, and worn out equipment hinders the level of patient care that your facility can provide. Malfunctioning equipment can lead to errors that could interfere with diagnosis and treatment care plans. Improve your patient experience, as well as the confidence of your healthcare workers, by ensuring your dialysis machine is operating at peak performance.

Regulation Compliant

Dialysis machines are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. Their design, as well as their operations and maintenance, must follow strict regulations. This includes stringent policies on documenting repair requests and maintaining a detailed inventory.  Having to pinpoint exactly what needs to be recorded becomes an overwhelming process.

Compliance with these regulations and policies takes time, energy, and manpower. Instead, rely on our expertise to streamline the process for you.

Equips is Your Biomedical Equipment Repair and Dialysis Machine Maintenance Partner

Proper planning is an essential aspect of ensuring biomedical equipment is functioning at peak performance. Maintaining your Dialysis machine is no exception. Your equipment issues no longer have to be part of your to-do list. With our innovative technology solutions, we simplify even the most complicated processes by giving you the tools to get help seamlessly from a maintenance provider. Equips can even help you Submit Service Request in less than 15 seconds. Why? To help you streamline the operations of your facility to make your life easier.

Need custom options? You got it. Speak to our dedicated Solutions Team and schedule a demo today!

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