In medicine, hemodialysis (also haemodialysis) is a method that is used to achieve the extracorporeal removal of waste products such as creatinine and urea and free water from the blood when the kidneys are in a state of renal failure. Hemodialysis is one of three renal replacement therapies (the other two being renal transplant and peritoneal dialysis). An alternative method for extracorporeal separation of blood components such as plasma or cells is apheresis.
Hemodialysis can be an outpatient or inpatient therapy. Routine hemodialysis is conducted in a dialysis outpatient facility, either a purpose built room in a hospital or a dedicated, stand alone clinic. Less frequently hemodialysis is done at home. Dialysis treatments in a clinic are initiated and managed by specialized staff made up of nurses and technicians; dialysis treatments at home can be self initiated and managed or done jointly with the assistance of a trained helper who is usually a family member.