Fresenius Medical Care reached a remarkable milestone today when the company, the world's largest provider of dialysis products and services, produced its 500,000th dialysis machine. The machine, from the multiple prize-winning 5008 series, came off the production line at the Schweinfurt, Germany plant and was donated to the Deutsche Nierenstiftung, a German non-profit organization for dialysis and kidney transplants.
"This landmark achievement testifies to our technological as well as to our commercial success," said Kent Wanzek, the Fresenius Medical Care Management Board member responsible for Global Manufacturing Operations. "Constant innovation is what has made us the world market leader in dialysis machines. As a vertically integrated provider of dialysis equipment and services, we strive for continuous improvements in quality at every step, to make dialysis as safe and easy as possible for patients, and to keep it affordable for everyone."
Emanuele Gatti, Fresenius Medical Care CEO for Europe, Africa and Latin America (EMEALA) and Global Chief Strategist, said: "Over more than three decades we have steadily improved our dialysis technology, which has allowed us to expand far beyond our home market in Germany. Today, our dialysis machines are in demand worldwide and helping patients in every region of the globe. It is our goal that every person requiring treatment will one day have access to it. We are happy to be donating this very special machine to the Deutsche Nierenstiftung as a sign of appreciation for their tremendous work."
In hemodialysis, essential functions normally performed by a healthy kidney are carried out by a dialysis machine, which pumps blood out of the patient's body, through a bloodline system and into a dialyzer, which acts as an artificial kidney or filter. There, a fluid known as dialysate transports the toxins and excess water filtered from the blood away from the body. The machine also pumps dialysis fluid into the dialyzer in a separate, circular stream flowing in the opposite direction, controls both streams, and introduces an anticoagulant medication such as heparin. To ensure safe, efficient treatment for the patient, the system also includes a variety of automated monitoring and control functions.
Fresenius Medical Care began developing its own dialyzers and dialysis machines in the mid-1970s, with serial production of the company's first dialysis machine starting in 1979. The first model, the A2008, became the world's best-seller, and successor models have enabled Fresenius Medical Care to maintain its market-leading position until this day. Fresenius Medical Care currently produces dialysis machines in Schweinfurt and at a sister plant in Walnut Creek, in the United States.