The rate at which the global pandemic – Coronavirus is affecting lives, poses a great threat to mankind. However, the caregivers who are waging battles every day with this disease in various healthcare facilities are more determined than ever to defeat it once and for all. They are doing everything possible to control and treat patients at their best of abilities, especially the ones who are more susceptible to this infection such as people on dialysis treatment and pregnant women.
At present, COVID-19 produces high morbidity in patients who suffer from Chronic kidney disease and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) due to their existing comorbidities, repeated unavoidable exposure to the hospital environment, and immunosuppressed state. Hence, healthcare professionals need to be extremely cautious and follow certain guidelines to care for these patients. These are as follows:
- Medical supplies such as dialysate, dialyzers and tubing, fistula needles, catheters, disinfectant and medicines, etc. should be ensured in adequate quantities.
- All hemodialysis units should inform their staff including Nurses, Nephrologists, technicians, and all patients undergoing dialysis along with their caregivers about COVID-19.
- All staff should strictly follow the basic etiquettes of hand hygiene.
- Medical support staff who are treating the infected patients should be monitored for the COVID infection at the dialysis facility and should take necessary steps if they are infected.
- All hemodialysis units should be aware of the testing, triage, and notification policy as recommended by the governmental and international healthcare organizations.
- All of the dialysis unit staff should be trained for donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so that they can treat COVID-19 positive patients safely.
- Dialysis personnel, attendants, and caregivers should treat the patients in isolation, thereby making sure that they do not become the source of infection.
Additionally, pregnant women have similar chances of getting infected by this contagious respiratory illness. If these women have pre-existing health conditions, then they become predisposed to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia. There are certain recommendations for these women to ensure the safety of their neonates, other expecting females in the delivery suite, and healthcare professionals caring for them. All obstetric units should take into account the following guidance factors:
- Apt isolation for pregnant women who are COVID-19 positive or are under investigations.
- Train all healthcare professionals to adhere to infection control practices, PPE usage, and handling.
- Ensure adequate and appropriate PPE supplies positioned at all points of care.
- Protect newborns from risks of COVID-19 infection.
Abiding by these factors is crucial for healthcare facilities. They should maintain a registry for all women who are suffering from Coronavirus during pregnancy. Maternal and neonatal records must be kept in detail and preserved for analysis in future. Apart from this, there should be a well-thought plan to address the possibility of decreased workforce, a potential shortage of PPE, limited isolation rooms, and maximize the usage of telehealth across as many aspects of prenatal care as possible.