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Recent research: US dialyzer reprocessing machines market forecast to 2017

Each hemodialysis treatment undergone by a patient requires the use of a dialyzer. The dialyzer employed by each treatment can be either a single-use or a reuse dialyzer.

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Growth in the market is expected to be limited due to an overall trend toward single-use dialyzers, which do not require a reprocessing machine. Dialysis reimbursement has suffered Medicare cutbacks that have been steadily increasing since 2014.

Although reuse dialyzers offer a potential cost reducing measure compared to single use dialyzers, many dialysis facilities are adapting their budgets through reduced hours, limitations on programs and services, reduced staff.

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Overall, the trend is still moving towards single use dialyzers due to both convenience and the preferences of patients and healthcare professionals.

Single-use dialyzers are expected to account for a greater proportion of the total number of hemodialysis treatments performed. When used, a single-use dialyzer is required for every single hemodialysis treatment performed, whereas a reuse dialyzer is used for approximately 13 treatments.

The shift toward single-use dialyzers will require a far greater number of total dialyzers, which will be a major driver of growth over the forecast period. 

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A single-use dialyzer will be adequate for a single treatment, after which it will be disposed of. A reuse dialyzer is adequate for use on multiple treatments of the same patient.

In order to be reused, a reuse dialyzer needs to be reprocessed. The procedure of reprocessing comprises cleaning, testing, filling the dialyzer with sterilant, inspecting, labeling, storing and rinsing the dialyzer before it is used for the next treatment.

During the reprocessing, a reuse dialyzer also undergoes a volume test to ensure that the fibers that transport the blood are not occluded, and a pressure test to ensure that the fibers of the dialyzer are not broken. All these steps are performed by automatic equipment, which is the role of the dialyzer reprocessing machine.

After reprocessing, the reuse technician will visually inspect the dialyzer to ensure that all critical aspects are up to standard. If the dialyzer passes the final inspection, it will then be labeled, which will show the patients name, the number of times they have used the dialyzer, the date and time of its last reprocessing and the initials of the individual that reprocessed the dialyzer.

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