Digestive System

COVID-19: The kidneys can also be affected

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A kidney specialist that this organ may also be directly affected by the coronavirus, the effects of which are still poorly understood. Therefore, dialysis-treated patients are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic, but this risk would also affect people free of any kidney disease.

Several studies have shown that COVID-19 affects not only the lungs, but other organs as well. Some patients have digestive problems, for example, others, anosmia (loss of smell) indicates that the coronavirus is likely to affect the areas of the brain that process olfactory information. The skin is also an organ that can be affected (pseudo-freezing, temporary urticaria lesions) according to recent warnings from dermatologists. Finally, the kidney is also an organ for close-up observation, like Brad Rovin, director of the department of nephrology at Ohio State University.

The specialist indicates that not only are kidney patients particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that the disease can cause kidney problems in patients who did not have them until now. "The virus is found in the kidney, there are several scientific publications on this topic. In many cases, these patients, who have never had kidney disease, develop severe kidney damage. Depending on the severity and duration of the infection while fighting Covid- 19 can develop chronic kidney disease. " Explain. At risk of long-term care with respect to nephrology services.

"Kidney failure patients don't have the same immune system"

Brad Rovin also explains why regular kidney disease patients are more likely to develop a severe form of Covid-19. According to him, "The main diseases that cause kidney failure, the need for dialysis or transplantation are diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. People with these medical conditions are more vulnerable and are more likely to develop a severe form of Covid-19. This This observation echoes the conclusions of several studies that state that severe cases admitted to intensive care more frequently have comorbidities.

Added to this is the fact that "patients with severe kidney failure do not have the same immune system as others. They are also patients for whom social distancing is impossible: many are forced to go to the hospital three times a week for dialysis and they end up in beds next to each other. All this creates an explosive cocktail to make our patients particularly exposed to this pandemic. " Says the specialist. In France, the Renaloo Patient Association tracks the progression of the epidemic in patients receiving dialysis or transplantation using data from the Biomedicine Agency.

Update on dialysis and transplant patients in France

This lists, as of April 14, 1,468 patients infected with COVID19, including 1,209 dialysis patients and 335 kidney transplant patients. "Currently in France, around 49,000 patients are on dialysis and 40,000 are transplanted. Therefore, the disease progresses more strongly in dialysis patients, which can be explained by repeated exposure to the virus during dialysis sessions. Transplant patients they have the opportunity to protect themselves more respecting the strictest confinement, "she stresses. However, this does not prevent the application of barrier measures (washing hands, coughing or sneezing at the elbow, using disposable tissues).

As of April 17, there have been 38 deaths in kidney transplant patients and 140 deaths in dialysis patients whose cause is related to SARS-Cov2 have been reported to the Biomedicine Agency. Please note that the list of people at risk of developing a severe form of Coronavirus infection was published on March 13 by the Ministry of Health. They include dialysis patients, transplant patients, and those taking immunosuppressive therapy, as well as people age 70 and older, people with a cardiovascular history, people with chronic respiratory disease, unbalanced or complicated diabetics, and patients with active cancer under treatment.

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