Morbidity and mortality due to Covid is much higher in chronic kidney disease patients, especially those undergoing dialysis treatment, stated Dr Rajesh Nair, Professor and head, department of nephrology and renal transplants, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, at a renal transplant meet called Punarjani organized by the hospital ahead of the World Kidney Day.
The hospital was celebrating the milestone of achieving 750 successful kidney transplant surgeries since its inception in 2002.
Said Dr. Nair: “Covid-19 infection can damage the kidneys directly, or cause injuries indirectly to them due to severe inflammation called cytokine storm, or excessive blood clotting. About 20% of hospitalized Covid-19 patients develop acute kidney injury due to the infection. Many of them experience renal shutdown. Some patients may need temporary haemodialysis treatment, mostly those who develop complications of Covid pneumonia and require ventilator support.”
Dr. Nair added: “During the last one year, kidney disease patients have been reluctant to visit hospitals due to fear of Covid. Most of our out-patients at Amrita Hospital during the initial pandemic period were managed with online teleconsultations. However, those needing hospitalization had a difficult time due to manpower challenges, delays due to testing and categorization into Covid or non-Covid patient care, and an increased demand for ICU care, ventilators and dialysis, leading to shortages.”
Dr Rajesh Nair said: “Kidney patients on long-term dialysis who developed Covid needed hospital stays for continuation of their dialysis, and dedicated areas had to be provided for this. There was higher mortality too among kidney patients infected with Covid. Due to all this, the overall burden of kidney patients on the healthcare system was enormous during the pandemic. We hope that as Covid vaccination progresses in the community, the number of complicated cases of kidney patients will drastically come down.”
Amrita hospital has been conducting renal transplant surgeries since the year 2002. It has successfully completed 750 renal transplant surgeries so far, out of which 65 related to kidneys soured from cadavers and the rest from live donors related to the patient. Amrita surgeons have also been successfully conducting ABO-incompatible kidney transplants across the blood group barrier