Home Engineering: Dialysis machine

Posted on August 5, 2008  Comments (3)

‘DIY’ kidney machine saves girl

A baby dying from kidney failure was saved when her doctor designed and built her a dialysis machine from scratch in his garage.

The job of the kidneys is to ‘clean’ the blood, and if they fail, a dialysis machine can do this job instead.

However, Dr Coulthard, together with senior children’s kidney nurse Jean Crosier, devised a smaller version, then built it away from the hospital. Millie was connected to the machine over a seven day period, allowing her own kidneys to recover.

Rebecca, from Middlesbrough, said: “It was a green metal box with a few paint marks on it with quite a few wires coming out of it into my daughter – it didn’t look like a normal NHS one.

The machine is still in use, helping babies in similar circumstances to Millie, but Dr Coulthard told the Newcastle Journal newspaper that an official version was needed. “This machine is only being used on the tiniest, earliest babies where there is nothing else that can be done.

“But if we had a machine that we could use much more freely, then we would be able to deal with many more babies and have a much greater chance of saving lives.”

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3 Responses to “Home Engineering: Dialysis machine”

  1. Alice
    August 6th, 2008 @ 9:23 am

    Was the doctor in question named McGyver?

    So is the benefit of this machine that it can be used on newborns or that it can be used from home? Either way it’s very cool. Surely somebody’s already paid him for the design and started building?

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  3. john diss
    November 22nd, 2016 @ 3:10 pm

    i want to build a kidney dialysis machine my cat he is 21years old but ialso lost my father because they did not have the money for dialysis machine and left him to die i am an electronics engineer if i could save percy then it would work in small humans a diagram on how you did it what sort of membrain did you use the temp could be regulated pump pressure etc i thought using rotary pumps using plastic tube to pump the blood past the osmosis filter john

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