Hyderabad

COVID deadly for dialysis patients

Photo used for representative purpose only.   | Photo Credit: Raghava M

Conversion of dialysis centres into COVID centres during the devastating second wave has greatly affected treatment and discouraged patients from attending dialysis sessions. This has resulted in an increase in mortality among the dialysis population within the period from 15% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, said a study conducted by dialysis network NephroPlus on Thursday.

The study sampled 17,662 patients in the second wave; 1,111 or 6.2% of the screened patients were infected with COVID-19 and a staggering mortality of 32.76% was observed amongst these patients. This is far greater than mortality recorded in 2019 within the same period. Age is another important variable that comes to bear in the study. The mean age of COVID-infected people was 53.63, with 45% of all infected persons above the age of 55.

NephroPlus undertook the research to understand the impact of COVID on dialysis patients in terms of infections, hospitalisations and mortality as also the benefits of vaccination, and stated that the vaccines are truly effective. The work has been published in the reputed international “Nephrology Journal, Kidney International Reports”, said a press release.

In the first wave, 14,573 dialysis patients were studied. Out of the number infected with COVID-19, 99% were hospitalised for an average of 12 days and mortality rate stood at 23%. Principal investigator Dr. Vivekanand Jha said that the study showed that infections, hospitalisations and mortality, were all significantly reduced among people who had taken at least one dose of the vaccine.

“We found that those patients on dialysis who had taken even one dose of the vaccine had as much as 33% reduced risk of getting COVID infection compared to those who were not vaccinated. More notable was the halving of the risk of death, even if they got COVID,” he said

Dr. Jha, also the former president of the International Society of Nephrology, said, “This study provides a nationwide snapshot of the health effects of the pandemic in this vulnerable population who did not have the choice of isolation or social distancing and needed to come to their dialysis centres regularly even during the peak of the pandemic. We found that COVID among patients on dialysis was 20-fold greater than that reported in the general population, when adjusted for age and sex. While it was 8.7% among dialysis patients during the study period, the infection among the general population stood at 0.44% during the same time period”.

NephroPlus co-founder Kamal D. Shah said, “It is very important for dialysis patients to know that they have a high risk of contracting this lethal virus and die if they don’t take the vaccine as per our study.” Senior vice-president for clinical affairs Dr. Suresh Sankarasubbaiyan is another member of the research team. NephroPlus operates 265 dialysis centres in 150 cities across 23 States. For further information: https://www.nephroplus.com/.


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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 12:59:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covid-deadly-for-dialysis-patients/article36633741.ece

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