Precautions for Kidney Disease Patients and COVID Infection

Dr Jitesh Jeswani
DM Nephrology European SE Nephrology Consulting Nephrologist and Transplant Physician, Orange City Hospital and Research Centre, Nagpur

Precautions for CKD and dialysis patients in Coronavirus pandemic

Coronaviruses are common viruses that usually cause a simple cold. When new strains of viruses emerge, they can cause more severe diseases, as seen with the recent novel coronavirus disease called Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

What are the common symptoms of COVID infection?

A large majority remains asymptomatic, followed by those who develop only mild cough and cold. A small percentage develops severe symptoms like dry cough, high-grade fever, chest involvement in the form of pneumonia. Few become critical and need ICU/ventilator support.

Is there risk of rise in Corona cases once lockdown opens?

Yes, there is a risk of rise in Corona infection when lockdown opens. So we shall not take the opening of lockdown as a victory over coronavirus. Actually, to some extent, there is a compulsion in the opening of lockdown because prolonged lockdowns have its own consequences. But as we have learned that risk of corona infection can be lowered drastically by social distancing we shall be maintaining strict social distancing even when lockdown opens, that is how we can keep this pandemic in check.

If I am having diabetes or Kidney disease is there more risk of Corona infection and its complications?

Yes, unfortunately having any medical problem or co-morbidity like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problem makes us more prone to Corona infection and its complications, In part, this is because of a weak immunes system compared to someone who has no such problem.

So what can I do to improve my immune system?

Here are some tips from our end to improve the immune system.

  • Daily exercise or yoga for at least 30 minutes.
  • Minimum 7 hours of sound sleep
  • Eating a balanced healthy Dict
  • Think positive and don’t take stress

When will this infection or pandemic go away?

Very good question so the ultimate solution will be having a vaccine.

Many companies world over have done various trials and come up with different types of vaccines. The Government of India has now started vaccination for front line workers including medical and paramedical staff followed by immune-compromised and elderly people.

My family member just returned from an area with high COVID-19 activity. What should I do?

It is best to avoid contact for 14 days with individuals who returned from an area where they could have been exposed to COVID-19. If avoiding contact is not possible, it is recommended to:

  • Practice frequent hand washing or hand sanitiser use.
  • All household members should avoid touching their eyes, mouths, and noses.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect high contact surfaces such as tables doorknobs and faucets.
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette should be practiced.

What should I do if have I have flu-like/respiratory symptoms?

There are many different causes for fever, cough, shortness of breath, and flu-like symptoms. Contact your doctor to see if you need to be tested for COVID or not. If you have a cough or fever, try to avoid being out in public. If you must leave home, cover your mouth and nose with a surgical mask or cloth covering

Is it safe for me to go to the hospital for appointment?

Healthcare facilities are evaluating patients for the risk of COVID-19, and if the suspicion is high, those patients are being isolated. Please contact your doctor for further instruction. Try virtual video/ tale consultation, if available.

I am a Kidney disease patient, can I take the vaccine?

All patients who are on regular dialysis are at high risk of getting COVID infection hence should receive vaccination along with yearly flu vaccine.

Patients who are on immunosuppression drugs or transplant patients must consult their doctor regarding vaccination.