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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Mumbai: Initiative saves 2,000 dialysis patients from missing sessions during lockdown

In March 2020, after the sudden nationwide lockdown, several Covid-19 positive renal failure patients were unable to book a slot for dialysis as there was no separate facility for them.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
June 26, 2021 1:54:07 am
dialysis patientsAt least 23 other dialysis centres were exclusively diverted for covid patients and two centres for suspected cases. The remaining centres were for non-Covid cases (Representative Image)

AN INITIATIVE by Apex Kidney Foundation, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Mumbai Nephrology Group and IIT Bombay, has helped conduct dialysis for 2,000 kidney patients and ensured that no such patient died due to a delayed or missed dialysis session. The project is functional since May 2020.

Dr Shrirang Bichu, Professor And Head Of Nephrology in Bombay hospital, said kidney patients require dialysis thrice a week. “Even if they miss one dialysis session it can be life-threatening. In April end and May, several such patients missed dialysis sessions and died. We were not able to record how many, but their issue had to be resolved.”

In March 2020, after the sudden nationwide lockdown, several Covid-19 positive renal failure patients were unable to book a slot for dialysis as there was no separate facility for them.

Suspected patients were asked to bring RT-PCR report every week and several dialysis centres shut down due to infection spread. Technicians could not report to work due to transport issues and raw materials like tubes, dialyzers were short in supply, Bichu said.

In May, doctors from Nephrology Group and Apex Kidney Foundation tied up with BMC to address the problem. BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said 75 dialysis machines were deployed in public hospitals and 35 in private hospitals for Covid-19 positive cases.

At least 23 other dialysis centres were exclusively diverted for covid patients and two centres for suspected cases. The remaining centres were for non-Covid cases.

They also roped in IIT Bombay, which developed software to track slots in each centre and allocate available slots to a patient through a portal covidialysis.in.

Dr Jatin Kothari, from Apex Kidney Foundation, said since last May till date over 2000 dialysis patients have benefitted from the initiative. “We have recorded no deaths due to delay in dialysis,” he said.

Mumbai has over 10,000 patients, who need dialysis. Dr Kalpana Mehta, Head of Nephrology in Nair hospital and
secretary of Mumbai Nephrology Group said that after initial hiccups the system has now become smooth.

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