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COVID-19: Treatment in kidney transplant patients. Hope or hype?

COVID has completely changed how we live and speaking of, hospitals have been hit hard, having to take telecalls for their patients or reschedule their patient’s appointments. COVID-19 situation isn’t getting better rather it’s worsening! Kidney patients who are lined up for their kidney transplant surgery cannot sit home and wait for things to get better to start their treatment. But if you practice social distancing and keep safe you may prevent yourself from getting coronavirus infection. 

Treatment for kidney patients cannot be delayed even during the global pandemic situation. Hospitals and centers are making sure to protect their patients and ensure their safety. 

It may take some time to get back to how it was all during pre-COVID times. Kidney patients have low immunity and hence are more prone to get infected. Hence, if you are visiting a hospital, wear a double mask, practice social distance and sanitize hands frequently. The management of renal/kidney patients at this time is tough. 

Kidney patients are advised to follow CDC’s guidelines to prevent the catching and spreading of germs and contact their healthcare services in case they experience one. Even children with acute kidney problems or kidney transplants are at high risk of getting infected with coronavirus as they take immunosuppressants (anti-rejection) medicine. They have low immunity and thus are more prone to infection. 

What is a Kidney transplant:

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to replace the diseased kidney with a healthy kidney from a  deceased donor or a living person. Lifelong kidney recipient has to take immunosuppressants (antirejection) medicine, to prevent kidney transplant rejection. 

How much does a kidney transplant cost?

A kidney transplant cost may range between seven lakhs to ten lakhs in India which is cheap compared to western countries across the world. If we speak in monetary terms, a kidney transplant is already a complex procedure with a lot of money invested and if the person is diagnosed with coronavirus, he/she has to spend another fortune in the hospital to get treated for COVID which has no surety of life. 

Current treatment of COVID-19 in kidney transplant patients:

If you’re a kidney patient and infected with COVID-19, you need to get hospitalized immediately to get treated. As your immunity is low, the coronavirus infection may affect your body adversely. Unfortunately, right now there is no treatment for COVID-19 apart from taking vaccination that may reduce the risk of covid. Prevention is better than cure. This rule simply implies here. Nutritional supplements can be given to kidney patients to boost their immunity that will help fight COVID. 

CT scan is the preferred diagnostic scan to detect signs of coronavirus in patients who have undergone kidney removal surgery. Currently, there is no treatment and prevention for COVID even for kidney patients. Most of the cases reported at the hospital for kidney patients with an acute kidney infection as well as kidney transplant patients acquainted with coronavirus have resulted in increased mortality. Coronavirus causes respiratory tract problems and leads to multiple organ failures. It targets the lungs, kidneys, and heart that results in multiple organ failures. However, with the help of vitamins and nutritional supplements, the treatment can be supported by down-regulating inflammatory cytokines. 

Hence, it is vital for the hospital to take kidney patients with COVID as a priority treatment and intensive monitoring to increase clinical outcomes. It is important to scrutinize the drugs given to kidney patients in treating coronavirus disease with immunosuppressive medicines to avoid harmful side effects. Researchers have suggested stopping the use of calcineurin inhibitors and antimetabolite in kidney disease patients. While Pulmonary thromboembolism prophylaxis is safe to be used for all COVID patients including kidney patients infected with the coronavirus. 

Conclusion:

According to the kidney doctor, coronavirus is the most challenging disease and if diagnosed in kidney patients, it makes the treatment quite challenging. Coronavirus in kidney patients can be life-threatening and requires clinical attention. A 28% rise in mortality has been observed in kidney patients with coronavirus compared to the general public with no health issues of 6%. COVID in kidney patients has resulted in an increased mortality rate. However, drugs such as pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics aspects, drug interactions, and extracorporeal therapies can be given to kidney patients to help treat COVID-19 infection. 

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