Blood is circulated through a multiple lumen catheter which connects between a vein of a patient and the blood treatment device. The catheter and the lumens thereof each define distal ends which are positioned within the vein. By this invention, one withdraws blood from the vein through one of the lumens at a flow rate of at least about 200 ml./min. while also inserting blood into the vein through another of said lumens at a similar flow rate. The distal ends of the lumens are longitudinally spaced from each other by no more than about 5 mm. It have been found that the following advantages can be achieved by this method: less clot formation coupled with low direct blood recirculation and longer catheter survival. Also, the catheter works well in either direction of blood flow through the respective lumens.