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The Heart that Could Have Won a War

By Daniel Foster19 Apr 2022

Welcome back, dialysis professionals. If you attended previous HD03 training webinars, then you’re aware of the basic design and operation of our HD03 dialysis monitor. If you didn’t have time, or are just now finding this blog, you are welcome to view last month’s installment on our website, or simply step into this month’s webinar if it suits your needs.

This month, we’re going to dive into the specifics of access flow measurement, and tell you exactly how Transonic can help you optimize your dialysis patient’s treatment.

Blood flow is life. We help you deliver. Literally.

With national heart month recently passed, we all have heart health on our minds. As a dialysis professional, guarding your patient’s heart health is part of your daily life. Our HD03 can measure dialysis delivered flow, access flow, and cardiac output.

But by now, you’re wondering if the title of this blog has anything to do with the blog itself.

It does. As we said, blood flow is life, and we measure it.

Let’s say you have a patient who’s having a particularly hard day with her dialysis. Her name is June, and she’s sixty years old. You’ve noticed that June has seemed depressed recently, more so with each treatment. She feels that her body has failed her.

What would you say to June?

Remember, we want to help you Act on Facts, not guesses. The HD03 meter on June’s dialysis machine is giving you June’s exact cardiac output. With that number, you can run the basic calculations and tell June that, given her pulse rate, her heart is pumping about 2000 gallons of blood every day.

June is mildly surprised by that number, so you proceed...

If her heart is pumping 2000 gallons per day, then, assuming a round number of 80 years, her heart would pump 58.4 million gallons of blood. That’s even more impressive, but still arbitrary, so how do you ground it?

The image below is USS Indiana, one of the United States battleships during the Spanish American War (1898). At that point in time, warships were monstrous chunks of iron and steel. Indiana’s displacement (weight) was 10,288 tons. Now perhaps we have something large enough to compare to the strength of June’s heart.

USS Indiana LOC npcc 32733 - USS Indiana (BB-1) - Wikipedia (Public Domain)

But if June’s heart can pump 58.4 million gallons, and blood weighs roughly 8.3 pounds per gallon, that’s 242,360 Tons of Blood. Her heart could have floated USS Indiana without effort. It could have floated two Indiana’s. Or three. Or five.

In fact, if you add the entire displacement of the American Fleet at the Spanish-American War’s Battle of Santiago de Cuba, it comes to less than half of the heart’s displacement ability.

Simply put, a single human heart could raise an entire fleet of ships.

June has fallen asleep somewhere in all the talk about gallons and warships. But maybe you helped reassure her, just a little.

The point is that you care about your patients, and we do to. After all, their heart is fighting a war, and you’re helping them through it.

We appreciate all that you do.