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Lucas ‘Mk.II’ kidney dialysis machine, London, England, 1970-1973

Lucas ‘Mk.II’ kidney dialysis machine, London, England, 1970-1973

Credits: National Railway Museum

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Waste products cannot be removed from the blood when a person’s kidneys fail. Serious illness inevitably follows. Dialysis is one way to treat the condition. Dutch physician Wilhelm Kolff developed a treatment during the Second World War despite the difficulties of working in occupied Holland. This is the prototype of the ‘Lucas Mk.II’ dialysis machine. The Lucas Mk.II was developed for use within a kidney dialysis centre. Blood is taken through a semi-porous membrane. Waste products such as urea are removed through filtration. The machine was made by Lucas Medical Equipment Limited, who donated it to the Science Museum’s collections in 1975.

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    Techniques and Technologies:


    Glossary: kidney dialysis machine

    A machine used to artificially replicate the function of the kidneys.

    Glossary: kidney failure

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