Healio: Experts release guidance on caring for pediatric patients on dialysis during COVID-19 pandemic
By Melissa J. Webb
Nephrologists from around the globe — and primarily from China as this is where the virus originated — have developed a set of recommendations for the care of pediatric patients undergoing either in-center or home dialysis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidance, recently published in Pediatric Nephrology, is based on “epidemiological features” of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2 virus] and COVID-19 disease.
Bradley A. Warady, MD, of the division of pediatric nephrology at Children’s Mercy Kansas City, told Healio Nephrology the recommendations are based upon the clinical experience in China and are similar to those which have been released for adult patients.
He said the recommendations are “directed at both the patients and the parents of these children, in addition to the in-center [hemodialysis] HD staff.”
Prefacing the guidelines, the researchers suggested several factors that may increase likelihood for pediatric patients developing the virus. These factors are especially relevant to those receiving in-center hemodialysis and include:
- compromised immune system (which can be “the result of long-term malnutrition, uremia, and/or immunosuppressants”);
- close proximity to other patients;
- frequent contact with health care workers, “who may be asymptomatic but infected while caring for a variety of other patients”; and
- presence of parents or other relatives during the treatment.
The researchers also emphasized the “proper and constant use” of personal protective equipment (PPE) by dialysis staff.
The researchers wrote that continually providing updated information, as well as providing education on preventive measures, is equally important for staff, patients and caregivers.
The researchers expect additional recommendations will be released from agencies, such as the CDC, that are specifically tailored to patients receiving dialysis in the United States.
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