Waiting for Kidney Transplant during COVID-19 era
You must know a few facts about kidney transplant recipients, then only you can understand the implications. These patients are continuously required to take immunosuppressive drugs. Therefore, they have a higher risk of infection from corona virus or any other simple virus, such as cold or flu. To lower the chances of getting the coronavirus, kidney transplant patients should follow guidelines. They know how to avoid catching or spreading viruses. Moreover, they can contact their doctors, if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.
Should kidney transplant be done during COVID 19 pandemic?
Difficult to say, depends upon the medical council of state, kidney transplant centre, nephrologist, patient and family members. There are no specific guidelines. As there is very high mortality and morbidity in post kidney transplant patients especially who are having comorbidities like elderly, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease and graft dysfunction (high creatinine). If a patient with chronic kidney disease stage 5 requires kidney transplant and no comorbidities and no active infections can undergo kidney transplant with proper counselling and explaining all risks of covid 19 infection after kidney transplant.
Waiting for kidney transplant and getting COVID 19 infection can undergo kidney transplant?
After recovering with covid 19 infection patients can undergo kidney transplant. Need to check COVID RT PCR test and antibodies just before transplant procedure.
Can a covid 19 infected be a kidney donor?
After recovering, donors can be taken for transplant operation as in case of kidney transplant recipient. Obviously need to confirm that he is asymptomatic and negative covid 19 RT PCR test.
Are post-transplant patients at higher risk from contracting the disease from their family members?
If you have just undergone a kidney transplant and staying with family members. You should be cautious of members who have contracted the disease. They should take care of additional sanitization norms. Also be careful when you come in contact with your kidney transplant physician. Inform your nephrologist when you go for checkup.
Are young kidney transplant patients also at risk from COVID 19 infection?
Yes even kidney transplant recipients of pediatric age group and adolescence are developing mild to severe complications. Don’t take it lightly. They also develop severe pneumonia and are admitted in pediatric intensive care units.
How can I get emergency dialysis?
You should keep your dialysis center number handy. In case, you face a situation where you need dialysis, call them up. They will schedule you, if it is urgent or else they will recommend you to the nearest center.
Moreover, during this time, you should have food with low sodium and potassium.
Do the transplant kidney patients and donors get affected by the virus?
Kidney transplant patients are at a higher risk of contracting Covid -19. However, the risk comes after the surgery. You cannot get the virus from donors. Donors are properly screened. Moreover, living donors should be careful, to take all precautions like use of proper masks, avoid unnecessary outings and better to be isolated.
However, if the following symptoms are there then I need to report.
Less urine generation
Pain over transplant area
What should I know about medicines and treatments?
As reported worldwide, there is no miracle cure. No patients can be cured overnight. It depends on the patient’s immune system in totality. In fact, research on vaccinations is underway. There has been no concrete success on the same.
What are the Prevention tips?
It is very important that you take proper care of yourself. You can undergo routine tests. Moreover, you can also get your urine samples checked. If there is no option for home testing, you need to go to the lab to give your samples. All healthcare areas are sanitizing their equipment and machinery before starting tests. Moreover, they are using PPEs while interacting with customers and patients. You yourself can wear a mask. Also, come back home and wash properly. Use hand sanitizers, wherever possible. Moreover, you have to be well prepared.
You should buy extra supplies, that includes masks and disposable gloves. This is to enable you to fight the virus. Be careful whenever you come into contact with someone at a medical center or someone in your locality. Also remember to disinfect touched surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops.
Will there be any drug supply delays in future?
The government is aiming to maintain a steady supply of all necessary medicines. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration is keeping a close watch on drug supply and management. So, you need not worry. Just, buy what has been prescribed to you. Do not change the medicines without speaking to your doctor. There is a facility of medical companies supplying medicines through courier.
Are you feeling stressed out and depressed?
It is natural for those, who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney diseases to feel scared. Moreover, there are other patients as well, like those on dialysis, kidney transplant patients and donors to feel depressed. The most that you can do in such cases is to maintain the sanitization norms that the government has advised. Indian government has some great ways for helping you to manage your stress and anxiety. They have even started helplines to assist you.
Do any of the kidney medications increase the risk from COVID-19?
Yes, it is true. Those who have comorbidities are at a higher risk of the infection. Cancer patients and those on immunosuppressive drugs are at a higher risk. These medicines and drugs reduce the body’s immune system. The immune system becomes powerless. Oral steroids taken as a part of the treatment also reduce the normal immune power. Moreover, if you are taking it for a longer time, it becomes all the more evident.
Are other medical conditions responsible for aggravation?
The Covid -19 virus aggravates the situation even more. The virus that causes the disease infects people of all ages. They are the older people over sixty years old. Then people with medical conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, asthma, other respiratory disease, and cancer. The risk of severe disease gradually increases with age starting from midlife. It is important that adults in this group save themselves from the virus.
What are various modes of distancing like?
They are self-isolation, quarantine and distancing. The self-isolation refers to separate and stay away in a room or a far off place. You should not talk or interact with anyone. They may be infected.
Quarantine means restricting all your activities. These are people with exposure to Covid conditions. They may not be infected yet but are taking precaution. They may carry symptoms.
Physical distancing means distancing norms for normal people. You should follow these norms when visiting markets and other public places.
Can children catch the disease?
Children and teens are also at a higher risk just like older adults and kidney patients. So, you must ensure to keep them well-protected. These groups should follow the same guidelines as followed by other members of the community. Do not allow children to play with other children from the community. This is a prerequisite. So, take care to follow it without fail.