Design for the Real World: Dialysis Machine


Friday, December 10, 2010

Before the invention of the dialysis machine, kidney failure was basically a death sentence. Registered nurse Janice Breen explains how the design of dialysis machines has evolved since she started working with them back in 1973. Produced by Gretta Cohn.

    Music Playlist
  1. Esther's Vice
    Artist: Bexar Bexar
    Album: Haralambos
    Label: Western Vinyl
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. Learning to Love Her Lazy Eye
    Artist: Bexar Bexar
    Album: Haralambos
    Label: Western Vinyl
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. Aidos
    Artist: Bexar Bexar
    Album: Haralambos
    Label: Western Vinyl
    Purchase: Amazon


Gretta Cohn

Comments [3]

David Borad from Sacramento, CA

I've been a dialysis patient for 13 of the past 20 years. (I had a transplant for the other 7 years.)

It is, at times, a grinding way to live. But, the combination of constantly evolving technology and dedicated nurses like Ms. Breen make it significantly easier.

Thank you, Janice, for understanding that we patients get very attached to you -- you are keeping us alive, how could we not. Thank you for knowing that there are times when what we need is simply to have you hold our hand as we go through the pain, be it emotional or physical.

Dec. 12 2010 01:46 AM
rachel mason from Queens, NY

Thank you SO Much for this episode. My grandfather lived through all of those years of dialysis before there was home care and my father was the inventor of the foam detector apparatus that nurse Janice mentions... something he did simply out of necessity for my grandfather and the other patients in the local dialysis unit when there was a shortage of nurses, they needed some way to know when foam entered the blood to avoid a person bleeding to death. As Janice mentions indeed, one of the only ways off dialysis is death and my grandfather made the decision to finally take himself off the machines and that is how he died.
Much appreciation to Gretta Cohn for producing this wonderful episode.
Rachel Mason

Dec. 11 2010 05:18 PM
Andrea Griffin from Hanover, PA

As a person with several family members in renal failure and a family history of renal disease this was a very interesting program to hear the evolution of dialysis machines. I especially loved the last few lines when Janice says that people on dialysis have a hard life the she asks herself if she's treated someone the way she would treat a family member. So I echo her sentiment - WELL DONE JANICE, WELL DONE!

Dec. 11 2010 03:06 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.