Coronavirus patients admitted in various US hospitals are showing Kidney damage which is a highly unusual thing. This additional risk of kidney damage is causing more stress on physicians who are treating these patients. In addition to that, they are facing insufficient equipment especially ventilators to treat all these patients.
The chief of the division of nephrology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, Dr. Michael J. Ross says,
“It’s an extremely serious problem. It’s putting many people’s lives at risk all over the New York region. It is, unfortunately, a common complication, especially for hospitalized patients with COVID, to develop acute kidney injury. I would say close to 50 percent of the (COVID) patients in the ICU setting are developing acute kidney injury.”
Doctors say that most of the COVID-19 infected patients had healthy kidneys before developing it but now many of them need dialysis to stay alive.
A nephrologist and primary care physician in New York City, Dr. Shivam Joshi tells that most of the patients in China are experiencing acute kidney injury while before getting COVID-19 they had healthy kidneys. The number of COVID-19 patients with kidney damage is increased from 0.5 % to 9 % in China. This is concerning because the virus is affecting so many people and instead of decreasing, the number of COVID-19 patients is increasing day by day.
Another serious issue is the lack of resources including equipment, dialysis machines, and dialysis nurses. Each customer is receiving twenty units instead of a hundred units.
A physician from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital tweeted,
“This is a horrible, relentless, nasty disease in its severe form. If the patient is obese and/or has renal failure, the prognosis is extremely grim. We are forced to share dialysis circuits given the high percentage of renal failure (these people had normal kidneys before!).”
The president-elect of the Kidney Foundation and a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Paul M. Palevsky says that all through his profession, he has never observed such a failure to treat individuals because of the high volume of individuals requiring care.
It’s something that they have never needed to manage to this extent in this nation. If a patient needs dialysis and he can’t get it then he can die of kidney failure. In emergency clinics where dialysis supplies are stretched, specialists are getting creative to attempt to think about such a high volume of patients.
Our extra blood, electrolytes, and toxins are filtered by the kidney but if the kidney stops working, these toxins build up in the blood that leads to severe problems. People with severe COVID-19 are at risk of totally shutting down their kidneys. When toxins build up in the blood, and the electrolyte levels disturb the heart can stop working. Doctors say that the only dialysis can remove the excess toxins and without dialysis patients will die.
Ross says, “It’s extremely stressful as a doctor to try to be saving the lives of people and not have access to the treatment you know you need to save that person’s life. Unfortunately, patients will die for lack of access to these treatments to replace kidney function. For people to die due to kidney failure because of the lack of available dialysis is a tragedy, and it’s preventable.’’
The chair of the department of medicine at Mt. Sinai Healthcare System in New York and a council member of the American Society of Nephrology, Dr. Barbara Murphy says there should be a response at the national level to equip better New York City medical clinics with resources.
Ross further says if things proceed as they are and emergency clinics across New York City aren’t better equipped to reach the demand, more deaths will happen.