Coronavirus Disease-2019, Diabetes and Dialysis: An Internal Medicine Conundrum Proposal for a Suitable and Easy-to-Handle Prevention Protocol

*Corresponding author: Felice Strollo, Ersilia Satta, Carmine Romano, Carmelo Alfarone, Teresa D. Corte*, Giuseppina Guarino and Sandro Gentile

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research protocol


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.