Hemodialysis in the Setting of COVID 19 Pandemic Infections

Hemodialysis is the artificial process of blood purification in patients with damaged kidney functioning. This process is one that requires to be performed at regular intervals. People with kidney problems and kidney failure cannot survive without dialysis until their kidneys are replaced with healthy ones. In our recent situation with a pandemic outside the door both the availability and safety of treatment have become questionable. This is resulting in an increase in anxiety and nervousness among patients suffering from problems like dysfunctional kidney and their families. It is important to know how one can assure safety during the process of regular dialysis and also the extent of the virus’ impact on such patients. Knowing some of the basic points and being aware about the situation can help one take better care of their health.

How much risk can COVID-19 pose on people with kidney disease?

Several cases have revealed that co-morbidity has proved to be quite fatal for the people infected by the COVID-19 virus. The virus we are fighting worldwide is one which is highly contagious and is easily transmitted from one carrier to another. Kidney diseases pose quite a high risk and can result in several complications in patients. To fight a virus like this, a strong immunity system is the primary requirement. However, people who undergo regular dialysis have weaker immunity than others. This makes them more susceptible to the virus and can easily be infected.

Is it possible to carry out hemodialysis during the pandemic?

For patients with acute kidney problems hemodialysis is the only way of treatment until a proper transplant surgery. Therefore it is impossible for such patients to discontinue the process of dialysis at any cost. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has thus come up with a set of rules and regulations as well as special facilities in order to aid the requirements of hemodialysis patients. This new set of rules and regulations has been sent to every state’s health facilities which demand hospitals and clinics with dialysis facilities to take certain precaution and care of the employees as well as patients. This initiative by CDC has ensured the continuation of hemodialysis, the only life supporting procedure for kidney patients.

What measures are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among kidney patients?

Most of the measures suggested by CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus among kidney patients include regular COVID tests and follow up in case of positive test results or COVID-19 symptoms. However, in case of these health centers those provide medical assistance to patients with kidney problems along with dialysis facility have to ensure a proper and complete precaution in case of their staffs and doctors as well.
Listed below are some of the general rules those are being followed by these health care facilitators:

  • Temperature check at the entrance along with proper tests to detect any respiratory trouble.
  • Staff members who have COVID positive cases in their locality are prohibited for a certain amount of time until their quarantine ends. Hence the localities of these staffs are also under proper scrutiny.
  • Try to be involved in activities like cooking, painting, reading or watching good movies and T.V series during this time. It is advisable to keep your mind away from over thinking and obsessing over the pandemic situation as it can only do more harm to your mental well being than good.
  • Their contact with COVID positive patients is being properly inspected on a regular basis.
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory for the patients, their family or caregivers as well as the members of the staff.
  • The allowance of visitors has been curtailed to a huge extent and if at all someone is allowed to visit the patients, one need to present proper and detailed test records of COVID negative result.
  • Social distancing measures are strictly being followed at hospital lobbies and waiting areas.