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Kidneys are essential organs of your body that function to remove the waste products from the blood and regulate the fluid levels in the body. Kidneys act as the filter in our body, where the waste is sent to the bladder to be eliminated during urination .
When the kidneys fail (kidney failure) to perform the task of toxin removal, dialysis is performed . Dialysis is a treatment that filters and purifies the blood using a machine, which helps in keeping the fluids and electrolytes in balance .
In the event of the coronavirus pandemic, with hospitals being changed to covid wards, it is normal for one to have doubts regarding other health problems and regular check-ups. We will provide you with some tips to be considered for people undergoing dialysis, which can help one during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There will be three situations where patients will require dialysis; patients already on maintenance dialysis, patients requiring dialysis due to acute kidney injury (AKI) and patients critically ill requiring continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) .
The Health Ministry has issued a 'Guidelines for Dialysis of COVID-19 patients,' where it directs the administration heads to facilitate easy movements of such patients, accompanied by one attendant, to a dialysis facility .
Dialysis Tips During COVID-19
- It is advised to go to the dialysis unit alone without any attendant. However, in some cases, one can have an attendant accompany them to the dialysis centre .
- Use personal vehicles for transport to the hospital to avoid the risk of possible infection.
- Upon reaching the dialysis centre, inform the staff and wait outside the until receiving specific instructions.
- More importantly, maintain appropriate social distancing while waiting for dialysis.
- If the individual has symptoms of respiratory infection, use a mask before entering the screening area and keep it on until leaving the dialysis unit.
- One must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, using a proper method of hand washing.
- It is important to follow cough etiquette - such as coughing or sneezing using the inside of the elbow or using a tissue.
- If the individual getting dialysis has suspected or is COVID-19 positive, should wear a disposable three-layer surgical mask throughout dialysis duration.
- Patients should throw used tissues in the trash.
- Suspected or positive COVID-19 patients should properly wear a disposable three-layer surgical mask throughout dialysis duration.
Dialysis Tips During COVID-19
If one has the following symptoms, contact the dialysis department before coming to the dialysis centre :
- Sore throat
- Recent onset fever
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Running Nose
- Body ache (Myalgia)
- History of oversea travel or contact with a person who travelled
On A Final Note…
The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health is encompassed of guidelines not for the individuals getting the dialysis done. It includes General Guidelines for Administration, General Guidance for Dialysis Unit, Dialysis Staff and Disinfection and Disposal Practices as well.