Kidneys: Your body’s amazing filter

Ted Shaikewitz, MD
Partner at Durham Nephrology Associates and head of nephrology at Durham Regional Hospital

The human body has a natural filter known as the kidney, which filters blood for toxins and extra fluids; those toxins and fluids then leave the body through urine. It’s a very efficient process, and kidneys can typically support a person’s needs just fine, even when only a little function is left. When kidneys are not working well, the team at Durham Regional works together to preserve kidney function and minimize complications.

DSC_5627Kidney specialists called nephrologists partner with nurses, pharmacists and other physicians and healthcare professionals at Durham Regional to prevent serious damage to the kidneys. For example, precautions are built into our computer systems to help identify and prevent many situations where kidney-related harm could occur, allowing our team to better individualize treatment.

If the kidneys do stop working, then Durham Regional is well equipped to start replacement therapy. Kidney replacement therapies are, in general, referred to as dialysis. We have access to all the standard forms of kidney replacement treatment, and are among the only hospitals in the area that can start longer term peritoneal dialysis acutely.

Whether a patient needs long- or short-term treatments, Durham Regional has access to educational resources that can help our patients and their loved ones make decisions when they are dealing with these difficult problems.

Durham Regional was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in 2012-13 for nephrology care. To learn more about our kidney services, visit

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