SIUT reports surge in Covid-19 infection among dialysis, transplant patients

Published May 15, 2020
Institute treats over 16,000 patients whose immunity is compromised because of the disease or treatment. — AFP/File
Institute treats over 16,000 patients whose immunity is compromised because of the disease or treatment. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) reported on Thursday an increase in Covid-19 infection among patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer.

“The recent data reveals a surge in Covid-19 infection in dialysis, transplant and cancer patients at SIUT. Last week, 55 additional patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer have been admitted to the SIUT, which has overwhelmed its capacity,” said a spokesperson for the SIUT.

Unfortunately, he pointed out, these patients were immunosuppressed and, therefore, contracted infections swiftly and frequently and had to be protected vigorously as was the case in Covid-19.

According to him, the institute treats over 16,000 patients whose immunity is compromised because of the disease or treatment. This includes over 6,000 registered dialysis patients who have to come twice or thrice a week for free dialysis — a life-saving procedure for these patients.

To date 41 dialysis patients are under treatment for Covid-19 and at least two patients are being diagnosed daily.

“SIUT also has 5,000 renal transplant recipients on regular life-time follow-up who are also immunocompromised. Around 20 to 22 transplant patients are infected with Covid-19 and are getting vigorous treatment, including high regimen immunosuppression,” he explained.

Sharing information on patient expenses, he said the institute spent Rs2bn yearly only on the care of dialysis and transplant patients, which were provided for free.

“The healthcare facility also has more than 5,000 cancer patients availing anti-cancer treatment facilities and can present with serious and sometimes fulminant course needing intensive and prolonged treatment.

“We have marshalled its team to provide urgent treatment for this special group of patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer, which require prolonged intensive care.”

He also appreciated efforts of the Sindh government and said it was commendable that the government took further steps and dedicated more hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.

“The government has set up 10 centres in the public and private sectors in Karachi to treat Covid-19 patients along with ventilator support.

“This will help SIUT to concentrate on this select group of Covid-19 patients on dialysis, post-transplant and cancer treatment more effectively who require specialised treatment due to their immunocompromised status.”

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2020

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