Introduction. The first hemodialysis in Poland was performed on 6 November 1958 in Poznań. An attempt to save the life of a 38-year-old man with acute kidney failure was a success. At that time, only patients with life-threatening conditions caused by conduction, hypercalemia, severe respiratory acidosis or severe uremic toxemia were qualified for haemodialysis treatment.
Aim of the study. The aim of the study was to present a brief historical outline of renal replacement therapy in Poland and worldwide, to characterise haemodialysis as a method of renal replacement therapy and to discuss indications for renal replacement therapy.
Selection of material. The search was conducted in the Scopus database for the period 2002-2019, using the concepts of history of renal replacement therapy, hemodialysis, indications for renal replacement therapy. From the literature found in the Google Scholar database, studies were selected which, in the opinion of the authors, would be most useful in the preparation of this study.
Conclusions. Kidneys are an extremely important organ. They have the ability to regulate the amount of diuresis, relative concentration and density and the chemical composition of urine. This allows them to maintain the water-electrolyte and acid-base balance. They also play an important role in hormonal regulation of arterial pressure and red blood cell production. When the kidneys stop functioning, the concentration of substances normally excreted in urine, such as urea and creatinine, which are produced as waste in biochemical processes, increases rapidly in the blood, then renal replacement methods are necessary.