Therapy: Cleaning Up the Blood

When the kidneys fail to work and there is no hope of starting them up again, the resulting uremia is fatal in about three weeks. A hospital would seem to be the only place where victims could get adequate care. Hundreds of hospitals are equipped with artificial kidneys which are costly to install, even more costly to operate. For each of the 100 U.S. patients who regularly get lengthy treatments, usually twice a week, the cost is $10,000 a year. But now the artificial kidney is moving out of the hospital, into the...