70 years since the first successful haemodialysis treatment

NUM Pauline Nicholas and Dr Martin Wolley

Nurse Unit Manage Pauline Nicholas, Dr Martin Wolley and the entire Metro North Health kidney health service recently celebrated 70 years since the first successful haemodialysis treatment in Australia which was performed at the then-Brisbane Hospital.

“The history of the haemodialysis machine is fascinating,” Pauline said

“Its something we are all very proud of.”

Dr John Dique, Aubrey Pye, the Superintendent, and Harold Lloyd the chief electrician, followed the published description and built a dialysis apparatus very similar to that designed by Willem Kloff from the Netherlands.

The first dialysis treatment performed in Australia at what’s now Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital on 10 February 1954, to successfully treat a 36-year-old woman suffering from septicaemia, hypotension, cyanosis and oliguria.

The Brisbane machine consisted of a bath of dialyzing fluid in which a drum (130 cm long, 45 cm in diameter, made of beech wood slats) rotated, and around which a tube (3.65m long and 1.88cm in diameter) of semi-permeable Cellophane was wrapped.

The trio went on to create and build another version of the dialysis machine, until the first commercially produced haemodialysis machine was purchased in 1961.

“This is an amazing milestone from which lifesaving treatment, albeit life-changing and all-consuming, has enabled thousands of people to live longer in spite of kidney failure.”

2024-02-26T11:19:17+10:0026 February 2024|
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