Protected: The peak of the Coronavirus emergency and hemodialysis patients: the experience of the Dialysis Center in Crema

Abstract

Lombardy was violently hit by Covid-19 between the end of February and the beginning of March 2020. On 09.05.2020 there were 81225 total registered Covid-19+ cases (8051 / million inhabitants) with 14924 deaths (1479 deaths / million inhabitants). The province of Cremona presented a higher number of Covid-19+ cases and a worse relative mortality than the already high regional average.

Patients on regular hemodialysis treatment present a high risk of infection due to the co-pathologies present, while healthcare workers may represent a risk for themselves and for the patients, due to the treatment environment and the close contact with them.

All patients and healthcare workers of the Dialysis Center in Crema were evaluated (oro-pharyngeal swab for viral RNA research, qualitative anti-Covid-19 antibodies, quantitative IgG antibodies, co-pathologies), regardless of the symptomatology, over a 60-day period.

Hemodialysis patients have a risk of infection that is 12.7 times that of the local population, while healthcare workers outperform the patients for Covid-positivity (30.3% vs 21.6%). Lethality in infected patients is high (31% of Covid-19+ subjects), while it is zero among healthcare professionals. The antibody response (qualitative and quantitative) in Covid-19+ patients is adequate, when compared to that of Covid-19+ healthcare staff.

In our Center, the most critical phase lasted about 45 days but, thanks to the measures taken, it was possible to make the dialysis area Covid-free, as it remains after 128 days.

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