Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic on the Treatment and Care of Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease in Germany: Results of a Nationwide Survey
Impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the treatment and care of patients with chronic kidney disease in Germany: Results of a nationwide survey Background/Aims The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is a major challenge for patients, healthcare professionals and populations worldwide. Many peculiarities arise in dealing with outpatient and inpatient dialysis patients, patients with chronic kidney disease, or kidney transplantation. We conducted this first nationwide survey in German dialysis facilities to map
... facilities to map the situation in May 2020, to explore the feasibility of the hygiene recommendations, and to identify changes in non-dialysis CKD-patient treatment. Methods A cross-sectional voluntary online questionnaire survey with 65 items was distributed by email using the mailing list of the DGfN as the scientific association for Nephrology, the "Verband Deutscher Nierenzentren (DN)" as the association of German dialysis facilities in private practice, and the "Kuratorium für Dialyse und Nierentransplantation (KfH)", the largest non-profit dialysis service provider in Germany. The target population was nephrologists in dialysis facilities. 382 participants took part in the survey. Results The majority of centers were able to treat SARS-CoV-2- infected dialysis patients or had agreements with other centers to transfer these patients. Until mid-May 42% already treated SARS-CoV-2 infected dialysis Patients. Compliance with the hygiene recommendations is considered high among employees and patients. Nevertheless 18% of the facilities reported infected staff, which in 55% of the cases were presumably work-related. Changes in the area of deployment of employees who belong to the risk group pressurize personnel situation in the dialysis facilities, as well as sickness-related absences or quarantine orders by the health authorities. Perspectively a majority expects economic losses (82%), shortage of safety equipment (53%) and staff (74%), respectively. Conclusion The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic had a significant impact on the care of patients with chronic kidney disease, but there were no obvious deficits in care. This is probably due to the high degree of cooperation among dialysis provider and comprehensive recommendations of nephrologists societies.