At these advanced levels, the kidneys are no longer able to do their job, which is to clean toxins, like acids, out of the blood stream. Majority of these patients elect treatment through dialysis, an ongoing, regular medical procedure in which blood is pumped out of the body and cleaned of toxins with chemical solutions that work to neutralize the level of acid in the blood. Once toxin-free, the blood is then pumped back into the body, often times with a little extra bicarbonate, which helps reduce additional acid in the blood.
In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the nod to Fresenius Medical Care to produce GranuFlo Dry Acid Concentrate, as well as its liquid counterpart NaturaLyte, for use in dialysis treatments. Both chemicals contain higher-than-normal levels of bicarbonate, which when mixed with other medicines containing bicarbonates, can lead to an overdose situation resulting in serious heart complications, including cardiac arrest and death.