Frail populations burdened with chronic diseases can get more severe forms of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and have a higher mortality rate.
To test the efficacy of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) containment protocol in patients with endstage renal disease (ESRD) diabetes mellitus (DM) requiring dialysis, who are a typical example of the above category.
The protocol included: (i) daily telephone COVID-19 related triage for patients and their general practitioners (GPs); (ii) social distancing; (iii) environment sanitization, including ambulances, transfer vans, medical equipment, patient/health personnel clothing, and individual protection devices; (iv) adoption of quota systems for patients allowed to the dialysis room, and increased time lags among dialysis shifts. Eight hundred twenty-five (825) patients on dialysis (315 with and 510 without DM), and 381 healthcare providers (HCPs) were monitored continuously from the start of the pandemic until the end of the lockdown.
No HCPs were infected, while only two patients on dialysis were positive for SARS-CoV-2: one with DM, who died in intensive care, and one without DM, who recovered at home. The adopted contagion containment protocol proved to be effective for both HCPs and patients.
Therefore, we propose it as a useful model for any internal medicine or ESRD specialized units dealing with patients on dialysisoriented with or without DM.
COVID-19, Dialysis, Diabetes, Prevention, Contagion.
After the official coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)) pandemic declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO), Italy had the second-largest number of confirmed cases, after China. The Italian government introduced progressive infection-mitigation measurements, thus dramatically reducing social interactions and preventing virus spread. During the summer, infection containment measures progressively loosened until, due to an unjustified interpretation of some permissions and the excessive utilization of public transportation at school reopening, the contagion rate progressively increased until causing a severe challenge for our National Health Service (NHS) again.
To assess the efficiency of our previously described protocol in 18 Campania region-located Nefrocenter Consortium dialysis centers (DCs) as further adapted to new knowledge under the new ubiquitous contagion conditions and to identify SARS-CoV-2-infection mortality rate and risk factors.
381 HCP members underwent regular monitoring on April 1 and November 13, 2020. Dialysis patients did so too during that period according to the expected shifting prevalence over time (mean±SD:853±30 per month; range 825 to 873) vs (11.8% in April, and 14.8% in November vs. a pre-coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) 12.0% rate in January).
More patients got infected in November (10.19%) than in April (0,24%), and 22 patients of the 89 from the SARS-CoV-2 November positive subjects required hospitalization for moderate-severe symptoms (24.72%), with death unavoidably coming in 19 (86.36% of hospitalized and 21.35% of infected patients) compared to the only one recorded in April (0.12%). The pandemic’s two periods
showed a strong association between mortality rate and often co-existing comorbidities, primarily represented by arterial hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The previously efficient contagion containment measures adopted by our DCs were not enough in November to fight the global infection risk pending on the whole Italian social community around. The author, discuss possible reasons and put forward further suggestions for the best handling of any future infection waves.
COVID-19; Dialysis; Diabetes; Prevention; Contagion; COVID second round.