When the Corona outbreak started, there was a lot that we did not know about it. But over the last few months we learned what symptoms are related to it, how long it lives on certain surfaces, how it spreads, and we even developed a test to diagnose those with early symptoms.
Many people do not need to be hospitalized. They may have a fever, a cough, an upset stomach, and generally not feel good for a time. The most common symptoms of a severe case that requires hospitalization are difficulty breathing and respiratory distress. In the most severe cases, the kidneys are affected as well, even in people who had completely healthy kidneys before they contracted the virus.
Why does the virus have this kind of effect on the kidneys? One theory is that low levels of oxygen can lead the kidneys to malfunction. Another theory is that the virus causes blood clots. Since our kidneys filter toxins, extra water, and waste from our blood, blood clots can greatly impair the function.
Even with this new information coming to light, there is hope for a recovery. There were some patients at John’s Hopkins that did not require dialysis at were able to recover with full kidney function. There are still some ICU patients who did require dialysis but did in fact regain full kidney function as well. However, if kidney damage becomes more common among those who are recovering from the virus, it could lead to a problem we had a few months ago where ventilators were in short supply. Instead it could be dialysis machines.
Together we can avoid shortages of medical equipment and supplies by stemming the spread of the virus to begin with. Please continue to wash and sanitize your hands, social distance, wear masks, go to your regular doctor’s appointments, make healthy choices, and take care of yourselves and your families.
Wishing you the best of health. Stay safe.
Cleveland Kidney & Hypertension Consultants Inc. provides distinguished, superior medical care. We specialize in kidneys, hypertension, ESRD and dialysis. We collaborate closely with the best doctors in Cleveland, for a comprehensive approach to your total well being.