As per clinical reports, coronavirus infection primarily affects the body’s immune system and therefore patients with kidney ailments and undergoing dialysis, who have a weak immune system, are at a higher risk of COVID-19. On that note, let us discuss some important points for kidney disease patients in times of COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
What started in China, in 2019, has now turned into a pandemic and has currently put several nations in a lockdown coma. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused due to the infection of a novel virus strain nCoV or SARS-CoV-2. As for its symptoms, they can range from mild flu-like cold or fever to severe respiratory and kidney ailments.
According to epidemiological reports, the risk factors are mainly: old age, male gender, and underlying diseased conditions like cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. For further basic information on COVID-19, click here. As per the recent therapeutic developments, along with potential vaccine candidates, quite a few options like Remdesivir drug and Mesenchymal Stem Cell therapies are under trial and will hopefully be used for standard COVID-19 treatment practice soon.
How does the COVID-19 situation affect healthcare for patients with kidney disease?
The kidneys contribute to body immune homeostasis and components of the immune system regulate many renal diseases, thus playing a major role in the progression of chronic kidney disease. A dysregulated body immune system can possibly have direct / indirect renal effects and vice versa. People on dialysis generally develop weakness in their immune system and thus get more prone to viral infection. But it should be noted that patients undergoing routine dialysis should follow their schedules by consulting their medical personnel regarding preventive measures and hospital visit.
Besides that, people with kidney transplantation are prescribed immunosuppressive drugs which might reduce the effectiveness of the immune system of the body, leading to higher susceptibility for coronavirus infection. In their cases, doctors should suggest the medical plan whether these medications should be continued or avoided for the time being. As per some doctors, maintaining proper hygiene, washing hands properly, and following the preventive measures laid down by WHO can help these patients majorly.
What are some precautions that kidney disease patients and caregivers should follow?
Older people with kidney ailments and chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk for COVID-19 complications. Therefore patients and their caregivers should follow these preventive measures:
- Stock groceries and medical supplies for at least two weeks.
- Social distancing is the need of the hour for personal safety.
- Wear a mask and use sanitizers to clean hands for personal safety.
- Stay indoors and avoid being a part of crowded places or gatherings.
- Contact the doctor urgently in case of medication emergency.