COVID-19 and Dialysis: What to keep in mind before undergoing dialysis during a pandemic

We are past the first anniversary when the first COVID-19 case was detected in the world. The pandemic has changed us in many ways – the way we move, act and interact. It has caused us to re-examine the way we approach our health, and how we define our lifestyle in the future.

The on-going pandemic has created a sense of fear and anxiety in the minds of the patients suffering from various non-communicable diseases and especially the ones suffering from kidney-related ailments. Dialysis patients have suffered major obstacles accessing medical care due to the extended lockdown and the paranoia of going to hospitals. With a weak immune system, they are prone to develop high-risk infections and severe health problems.

Dialysis is a treatment where artificial kidneys filter the blood by removing waste and extra fluid from the body. It also acts as a support to your body by keeping the fluids and electrolytes in balance. During this pandemic, it was very difficult for the dialysis patients to go out and attend regular sessions at the clinic, but with unlock 4.0 phase, patients have eventually learned to cope with the situation and are trying to maintain a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

In this on-going pandemic, it is extremely crucial to keep an eye on your health amidst the anxiety and chaos by attending your sessions timely. It is critical to take precautions and stay healthy. However, to fight this battle patients also need to join hands with healthcare providers by following certain guidelines that would keep the infections at bay.

Here are a few things that need to be kept in mind before undergoing the dialysis treatment during a pandemic:

  • Follow the COVID-19 norms: Every patient should follow the necessary guidelines as prescribed by the government to stay safe during this pandemic. COVID-19 rules and regulations can not only help a dialysis patient but also work to keep our environment free from the virus. Try carrying a sanitizer and mask at all times when stepping outside of your house and maintain social distancing.
  • Take adequate amount of rest: You should always rest well after taking your meals on time. It helps to digest the food better and required resting hours are fulfilled. Proper rest not only helps to reduce the stress but also helps to ease out the strain during the treatment.
  • Maintain the necessary hygiene: Proper hygiene should be practised at all times and not only during pandemic. It is always advised to the dialysis patients to take a warm water bath after returning from the treatment because they have been exposed to a lot other patients which can be a source of infection for them.
  • Maintain a proper diet: Consult with your dietician and have a proper diet chart in place. The diet chart should include all the necessary food nutrients to help a dialysis patient stay healthy and live longer. During the pandemic, having meals on time is very essential as that would keep a lot of other problems at bay.
  • Be in touch with your medical expert: In such tough times, when going out can increase the risk of getting infected, always try to stay in touch with your medical expert over the phone. Try switching to a virtual session and discuss the necessary problems. Keep note of the medicines prescribed and help your doctor stay updated about your health.

Author is a Nephrologist of Apollo Dialysis Clinics. Currently Apollo Dialysis Clinics operates 70+ clinics at 60+ locations in Delhi-NCR (Gurgaon), Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The company has also recently launched Home Dialysis Services in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Guwahati.

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