He called Minnesota home and had his roots at the Hennepin County Medical Center’s Dialysis Program. But Doug Luehmann, who died on May 12 at age 73 in San Antonio, Florida, was known as the go-to guy for answering questions about the technical aspects of the dialysis treatment, particularly on the importance of water quality and testing. Luehmann was on NN&I’s editorial board for many years, as an advisor and one who pushed for stronger requirements on achieving high quality, ultrapure water. He wrote a detailed review in
NN&I’s June 1987 issue about a U.S. Food & Drug Administration survey of 31 dialysis facilities in California that showed little consistency in monitoring the quality of the water. At the time, Luehmann was already a 22-year veteran of the dialysis field, and was defined as “as one of the most knowledgeable and widely-respected expert on water treatment and purification practices.” He was also a consultant on a then-controversial study funded by the National Institutes of Health called, “Multiple use of hemodialyzers.” Luehmann would later work for Renal Systems when links between dialyzer reprocessing and mortality rates were being publically debated.
Luehmann was also an early proponent of certification for dialysis technicians, and contributed to a report written for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the risks and hazards associated with devices used for hemodialysis. That research also provided input in developing the original Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation standards for hemodialysis devices, and contributed to the development of a FDA manual published in 1989, authored by Luehmann, Elias Klein, Richard Ward, and Prakash Keshaviah called, “A Manual on Water Treatment for Hemodialysis.” That publication was updated in 2015 and is available through the National Association of Nephrology Technicians/Technologists (www.DialysisTech.net). “Due to the education these men gave us, there have been fewer instances of water-related morbidity since this manual was published,” wrote Jim Curtis, CHT and the revised manual’s development team in the introduction.
Luehmann is survived by his wife of 53 years, Marlys; 2 sons, two sisters, and four grandchildren.