A new Ontario study revealed that people undergoing long-term dialysis are almost 4 times more likely to die from COVID-19. The researchers recommend that such individuals should be prioritized for vaccination. The study looked at data on 12 501 patients undergoing long-term dialysis in Ontario between March 12 and August 20, 2020, of whom 187 (1.5%) were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of these, 53 people (28.3%) died and 117 (62.6%) were admitted to the hospital.
By contrast, uninfected people who were receiving dialysis during that period had a death rate of 5.8% and a hospitalization rate of 27%. Since this analysis and particularly in the last two months, the number of people on dialysis infected with the virus has risen to over 570 and the number of deaths has increased to 120. In addition to vaccination and infection precautions, the researchers recommend educating patients about their increased risk of infection and higher mortality, including risks associated with social activities. Wherever possible suitable patients must be encouraged to start home dialysis as it carries a lower risk of infection.
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