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Renal failure patients at higher risk of Covid death

Dr Suri Raju V
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Dr Suri Raju V

Highlights

A latest AIIMS study has confirmed that apart from lungs and liver, kidneys were the most affected in deceased patients.

A latest AIIMS study has confirmed that apart from lungs and liver, kidneys were the most affected in deceased patients. Dr Suri Raju V, chief urologist at Regal Multi-Speciality Hospital talks to The Hans India on the impact kidney patients had during the pandemic.

Latest AIIMS study has confirmed that apart from the lungs and liver, kidneys were the most affected in deceased patients. What has been your observation?

The wrath of COVID-19 not just affects patient's lungs and liver, even the kidney was affected among most of the deceased patients. Patients with kidney issues have a higher risk when COVID-19 attacks them. There are two major causes that lead to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases among renal failure patients. Firstly, renal failure patients on dialysis have to travel to hospitals frequently and this will throw patients open to the infection. The fact is also that, they cannot avoid traveling to hospitals for dialysis especially during the peak COVID-19 cases. These patients suffer a severe form of COVID-19 infection if they fall victims to it. He opines that patients with kidney issues must be cautious.

Secondly, the reluctance in getting vaccinated. Despite warning by experts about the possible serious risks, a large number of kidney patients have been reluctant to get vaccination. As known during the previous waves, COVID-19 mortality rate among renal failure patients is quite higher than the normal population. Mortality rate among the normal population is less than 1 per cent and whereas with dialysis patients it is up to 10-15 per cent.

You have earlier stated that dialysis patients are at greater risk of contracting Covid. Could you elaborate on this?

I have been reiterating that patients suffering from kidney problems and those undergoing dialysis are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 infection. It is important that they must get vaccinated immediately to keep themselves safe. However, with good awareness most of the dialysis patients are taking Covid vaccine. Presently up to 60 percent of the dialysis patients are taking vaccines now.

The hospitals postponed surgeries since the major manpower were directed to fight Covid. How badly did it impact such patients?

Many surgeries were postponed due to COVID-19 and now is the right time for such people to get their elective surgeries done. Especially those who are suffering from issues pertaining to kidney stones and prostate where treatments are no more helpful, should get their surgeries done soon to avoid further complications.

Now that the number of cases is low, people should start visiting hospitals and get treated for their non-COVID health issues. It is totally safe to undergo surgery, especially for those who have elective or semi-serious procedures to undergo. They must consider consulting their respective specialists and must get their surgeries done soon.

At Regal Multi-Speciality Hospital, a 50-year-old man was diagnosed with prostate cancer during February last year and his surgery was due in March. That is when the COVID-19 hit the country and many patients themselves did not want to visit hospitals for surgeries. Adding to this was the overwhelming number of patients' in-flow to the hospital that treatment for non-COVID-19 took a hit. This man has now undergone the surgery and is taking radiation therapy. But, doctors say that though he is battling cancer, his lifespan is compromised.

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