1945: First sucessful kidney dialysis procedure
Dutch physician Willem Kolff built the first kidney dialyzer, now known as artificial kidneys, in 1943. This development was truly inspired and beyond expectations as it occurred during World War II, a time of exceptionally limited materials and personnel resources for creating cutting edge medical treatments for a smaller, non war related, population segment.
Once constructed, he attempted treatment of 15 acute kidney failure patients, all 15 died, until successfully performing the first successful kidney dialysis procedure treatment on Sept 11, 1945. He continued to redesign and experiment on the machine design and in the early 1950’s manufactured an improved unit.
The ability to treat acute kidney failure has saved countless lives since 1945. Research released in December 2016 showed that 14% of U.S. citizens were diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease.