Kidney concerns can be a bit hard to manage during these pandemic times. Who says one has to go to a hospital for treatment.
Cases of chronic kidney disease are increasing rapidly. According to an estimate, 18 out of every one lakh people in the country are dying of kidney-related diseases. This deadly disease can be avoided by adopting the habit of regular check-ups. When the kidney is affected, the ability of the body to clear blood and remove excess water is hampered. Initially, symptoms of kidney diseases are not seen. Still, persistent discomfort in the abdomen can be a significant sign of the onset of kidney health concerns, and the amount of toxic substances and fluids in the body starts to increase. Kidney disturbances can cause problems such as weakness, inability to sleep, difficulty in breathing and swelling in the body.
In the wake of the pandemic, a lot has changed in the approach to healthcare facilities around. As per a recent report by The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), patients with chronic kidney diseases and their existing co-morbidities, there is several compromised immunity, leading to more susceptibility to the virus. But, what about those who require regular dialysis? This current situation is undoubtedly not patient-friendly for those who are safe from COVID-19 at least owing to the several embargoes in visiting any hospital at any given point of time. Also, the scare of getting transmitted with the virus is such that most patients avoid visiting hospitals even for dialysis.
Here we have Dr Vidyashankar P, Lead Consultant – Nephrology, Aster CMI Hospital talking about Peritoneal Dialysis, its need, and also how it can be done at the comfort of your home:
What Is Peritoneal Dialysis? And, How Can It Be Done At Home
This needle-free dialysis treatment is done to recover the kidney functions. For peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is placed in the abdomen, and its end remains outside the abdomen. This is done with the help of a small surgery done before the dialysis starts. For executing peritoneal dialysis, salt and other additives are given through the catheter into the abdomen. The bag once empty from the solution can be closed, and the catheter can be removed. First, the catheter helps in getting rid of excess fluid and waste from the body.
The solution, also known as dialysate, helps absorb extra fluid in the body. The dialysis leftover solution can be disposed of in the sink or the drain. Every time a fresh bag is used to perform the same procedure. Each procedure lasts up to 30-40 minutes and is done at an interval of 4-5 hours or more.
As we know the current situation, provisions like these are the need of the hour as it gives more freedom to those on dialysis to take treatment without any fear. The family members taking care of the treatment at home should ensure frequently washing of hands to avoid infection risk.
Myths & Barriers Associated With Home Healthcare Services
We all know how new the concept is for each one of us when it comes to having complex treatments at home, including big machines. Healthcare at home comfort requires the need of staying closely connected with the doctors, and may still require hospital visits as and when required. Some even fear that medical services like dialysis may not be possible at home, which could lead to added anxiety among patients and family members too. The need of the hour is to understand what medical care at home means and what necessary precautions one must take as per the treatment required.
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Although the government has included PD as part of the national health mission policy, it is essential to implement it pan-India on the ground to manage the high number of kidney patients, especially in the Covid-19 era. Appropriate and timely suggestions and treatment by doctors can save infected people who are battling between life and death.
With inputs from Dr Vidyashankar P, Lead Consultant – Nephrology, Aster CMI Hospital
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