Nephrologist shares safety, medication tips for Kidney patients amid Covid pandemic

‘Vaccine safe with certain conditions’

JAMMU: Consultant Nephrologist , Super Specialty Hospital Jammu, Dr Raju K Bhandari, has assured that all kinds of Covid vaccine are safe for kidney patients, including those having undergone recent renal transplant.

Dr Bhandari follows, ‘Patients on steroids can take vaccines only once their dosage is below 20 mg levels. Those having been administered with Rituximab must wait for 6 months before getting vaccinated. Renal transplant patients can be administered the vaccine after 6 months post the operation’.

Highlighting the risks involving kidney patients, Dr Bhandari disclosed, ‘At least 30 percent of Covid patients, with no prior kidney issues, develop varying degrees of urinary abnormalities, including Stage-III Acute Kidney Injury. Around 10 to 20 percent of such patients may require dialysis. Such patients have five times high morbidity than general Covid patients.

Other priority groups for the health professionals are patients with prior kidney issues. Dr Bhandari says, “We pay special attention towards such patients as their recovery rate is little lesser than normal patients, at 70 to 80 percent, and have high mortality ranging between 20 to 30 percent.”

‘Another priority group includes renal transplant patients. Such patients are susceptible to develop severe Covid complications multiplied by their multiple comorbidities and the immune-suppressing drugs being taken by them. While globally such patients have a mortality rate of 25 to 35 percent, thankfully the rate is a little less in India’, he informed.

Dr Bhandari advises healthy diet and exercise for kidney patients and reminds them to avoid Potassium rich foods like dry fruits, green leafy vegetables, coconut water and citrus fruits etc. Patients are advised to seek clarifications from their doctor for more advice.

Detailing facilities being provided at government hospitals, Dr Bhandari informed, ‘Severe Covid patients are given dialysis in the High Dependency Unit at the GMC. Covid positive patients, with stable condition, requiring dialysis are given the facility at Government Gandhi Nagar Hospital. Non Covid patients can get the dialysis facility at the Super Specialty Hospital Jammu’.

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