CKD patients need to be extra cautious amid Covid: Doctors

World Kidney Day (WKD) is observed on March 11 every year and the aim of this day is to raise awareness of the importance of kidneys to the overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems.

The day is also observed mainly to reduce the frequency of kidney diseases in a high-risk population and also help to retard the progression in patients who already have early kidney disease by timely and appropriate intervention.

However, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, doctors have also suggested a need to be extra cautious as the wide range of adverse effects caused by Covid-19 infection is not limited to lungs only.

It can affect the kidneys, brain, liver and can even cause sepsis or disseminated disease in the body.

“Mortality rate went high among Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients after this COVID outbreak. Being immunity compromised CKD patients especially undergoing/underwent kidney transplant are more at the risk of getting infected severely.

Along with that mostly kidney patients face BP and fluctuating sugar level issue which is also associated with COVID severity. Initially kidney transplant procedures were also shut during this pandemic as donor and recipient both are more prone to catch COVID.

During beginning of the lockdown there was an almost 80 per cent fall in Kidney Transplant Cases (KTP), then after 6 six months around 50 to 60 per cent KTP cases took place and talking about recent one to 2 months it has resumed to almost 90 to 100 per cent KTP cases,” said, Dr. Sudeep Sachdev, Consultant, Nephrology and Renal Transplant, Narayana Hospital Gurugram.

“As now things are getting better we are back to almost pre COVID phase as far as the treatment procedure is concerned. Patients now also feel confident to come to the hospital who previously avoided coming to hospital in the fear of infection. For CKD patients only COVID appropriate behaviour is the key. Always wear a mask and live in self isolation till you are risk free,” Dr. Sudeep said.

Dr. P N Gupta, Director & HOD – Nephrology, Paras Hospitals Gurugram said, “Drinking water consistently is good for kidney health. The goal should be drinking eight glasses of water.Water helps to flush out sodium and other toxins from kidneys, thereby lowering the risk of kidney disease. A person can understand his kidney’s health through the regular kidney function test. Knowing your kidney or early detection of any disorder can help to diagnose the future damage.”

Dr. Sandeep Kumar Mandal, Senior Consultant Nephrologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurugram, said CKD is a common disease in India and is a serious public health problem due to high prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Due to care options limited to urban areas and lack of awareness regarding kidney diseases, diagnosis is often late which increases the probability of progression to End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD).

“This is the stage of CKD when survival of the patient is dependant on dialysis or kidney transplantation. Kidney disease may be asymptomatic in the early stages hence urine and blood tests should be done regularly to detect CKD at an early stage, as early initiation of treatment decreases the chances of progression to ESKD,” he said.

According to the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) 2015, chronic kidney disease ranks as the eighth leading cause of death in India.