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I read that Willem Kolff set out to build an artificial kidney (accomplished in 1943) because he had a 22 year-old patient die of kidney failure right in front of him and he had no way to help him. Nowadays over two million people are on some kind of renal replacement therapy, and if they get off it, they die.

What was the kidney failure situation before 1943? How common was it, and were all cases as hopeless as the aforementioned 22 year-old?

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    $\begingroup$ "A German doctor by the name of Georg Haas... dialyzed the first patient with kidney failure at the University of Giessen in the summer of 1924, after performing preparatory experiments. By 1928, Haas had dialyzed an additional six patients, none of whom survived, likely because of the critical condition of the patients and the insufficient effectiveness of the dialysis treatment." History of dialysis. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Jun 7 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ If anyone with a lot of rep wanted to start a bounty on this important question that would be much appreciated $\endgroup$
    – imrobert
    Commented 2 days ago

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