COVID-19 and Dialysis: What to keep in mind before undergoing dialysis during a pandemic

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Spoke Person – Dr. Venkatesh, Consultant Nephrologist, Apollo Dialysis Clinics

Today people across the world are learning what it is like to live through a pandemic. We need to be more cautious about everything around us and take care of people who are prone to more diseases, besides the younger and the older people, all the dialysis patients are also at great risk and are prone to catching the virus as their immune systems are weaker. This pandemic has caused a sense of fear in people who are social and outgoing as they are now scared to even enter an elevator with more than one person, that’s how hard this pandemic has impacted our lives.

For Dialysis patients it is important to be careful before undergoing a dialysis. It is a treatment where the kidneys filter blood by removing waste and extra fluid from your body. The waste that is filtered from the kidneys is sent to the bladder and later the waste leaves the body through urinating. Dialysis carries out the overall function of the kidneys if they’ve failed. Dialysis only takes place when the performance of the kidneys drops down to 10% -15% where in the kidneys fail to function on their own and hence need an artificial method and this is also called end stage. Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine. It helps keep your fluids and electrolytes in balance when the kidneys can’t do their job.

Dialysis patients usually get their treatment done at the dialysis clinics as it requires special machinery and expert consultancy. When the whole country shut down due to Covid-19 it automatically made it harder for dialysis patients to visit hospitals on a regular basis. As the pandemic is still ongoing it’s important to watch your health closely by taking the dialysis orderly and also by keeping yourself safe from the virus. To fight this unreal battle patients must cooperate with each other and all the healthcare providers by following certain regulations such as:

1. Complete every dialysis treatment session and stay on for the advised time, especially during the pandemic. Do not avoid or delay the treatment as it could worsen the condition of your kidneys.

2. Get in contact with your dietician to discuss the importance of proper nutrition and fluid management and get yourself a proper diet plan.

3. Rest well after having your meals.

4. Practice staying indoors to the best of your ability to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in the city, wash your hands frequently and wear a mask if possible when outside of your home. Carry a sanitizer at all times and sanitise your hands and surroundings frequently.

5. When you visit the hospital make sure you follow social distancing at all costs and also avoid using the amenities in the hospital to keep yourself safe from the virus.

6. As soon as you reach home after your treatment make sure you take a warm bath and keep yourself clean. Also do not forget to disinsection all your belongings.

It is important that we take suitable precautions to reduce the anxiety and chaos this pandemic created. Do not fear to take your dialysis because that could lead to worse problems, be cautious as well as practical about your health and follow all the precautions at all times.

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