COVID-19 in Dialysis Patients: Are they at Increased Risk & Its Consequences?

Kidney dialysis

COVID-19 is a dreadful situation faced across the nation for the past year and it is ongoing. Every individual is at risk of coronavirus infection if exposed to a person suffering from covid-19. Hence, to stay protected everyone should practice social distancing, wear masks, frequently wash their hands, and get vaccinated as early as possible!

Patients suffering from various chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, kidney transplant, and dialysis, and heart patients are all at high risk of getting coronavirus infection. To stay safe, one must exercise daily, practice Yoga Asana (breathing exercises) and eat food that will help to boost immunity levels in the body. All these remedies are not restricted to patients with illnesses alone, other individuals can also adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Having said this, many dialysis patients have a question if they are at high risk of coronavirus infection? What will be the consequence if they are exposed to this dreadful virus?

Well, as mentioned above, every individual including children is at high risk of infection, dialysis patients are not an exception. Instead, they are at high risk of getting exposed to viruses because they have low immunity making them vulnerable to the disease easily. 

Kidney dialysis:

Kidney dialysis is required by patients whose kidneys can no longer perform functions on their own and require the help of a machine to filter out waste and toxins from the body. It is important to routinely get dialysis as prescribed by your doctor to avoid further sickness which can lead to the death of the patient. Even patients looking for kidney transplant surgery are at high risk of getting coronavirus.

We understand it is dangerous to go to the hospital during the pandemic as the exposure is high at the hospital. However, many institutions are following safety protocols and guidelines initiated by the Government to ensure the safety of their staff as well as their patients. 

Let’s clear some air when it comes to dialysis during the pandemic.

Is it safe for me to go for my dialysis treatment?

It is essential for your overall health to timely go for your dialysis otherwise the effect may get reversed which could lead to death. Each dialysis center is following safety protocols to keep you safe from the covid-19 pandemic. 

The question here is how do these institutions and centers follow the guidelines? 

  • Centers or institutions are screening their staff and patients for PCR tests before admission to the hospital. 
  • They are limiting the number of visitors to one patient per one visitor. 
  • Institutions are regularly sanitizing the equipment and medical supplies to ensure safety and kill viruses. 
  • Any visitor with a symptom of COVID is restrained from entering the premises of the center.
  • Patients, staff, and visitors have to compulsorily wear masks and maintain a 2-meter distance. 
  • The institutions have maintained separate areas for non-covid patients including separate staff members assigned to non-covid patients looking for dialysis and kidney removal surgery
  • Centers are checking the temperatures of the patients and staff before admission to the premises. 
  • Patients on dialysis if covid positive are required to wear masks and PPE kits at all times because dialysis cannot be postponed. 

Are dialysis patients at Increased Risk for COVID-19?

Yes, dialysis patients are at an increased risk of covid-19 infection with a mortality rate of 20%. Afraid not, centers are taking utmost precautions to ensure the safety of their patients on dialysis. If you’re exposed to coronavirus, you may be required to be hospitalized. If you have mild symptoms of covid, make sure to call your dialysis center or kidney doctor and let them know in advance. 

Impact of COVID 19 on kidney failure:

We have already learned that patients on dialysis are at a high risk of coronavirus infection. For someone with a severe infection, recovery might take 6 weeks or more. As per the data, about 1% may die of the disease. 

The Bottom Line:

COVID-19 has made it difficult for the centers and institutions to take proper care of their patients on kidney dialysis worldwide. To avoid covid-19 exposure, try and talk to your center if dialysis can be done at the comfort of your home with all the necessary precautions. It is not wise to say that covid-19 dialysis treatment is safe at the moment, however, it is not even safe to miss your appointment. The benefits definitely outweighs the cons associated during the pandemic. 

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