Infection with the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a worldwide pandemic with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, overwhelming healthcare systems globally. Preliminary reports suggest a high incidence of infection and mortality with SARS-CoV-2 in patients receiving kidney replacement therapy (KRT). The aims of this study are to report characteristics, rates and outcomes of all patients affected by infection with SARS-CoV-2 undergoing KRT in Scotland.
Study design was an observational cohort study. Data were linked between the Scottish Renal Registry, Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group national data sets using a unique patient identifier (Community Health Index (CHI)) for each individual by the Public Health and Intelligence unit of Public Health, Scotland. Descriptive statistics and survival analyses were performed.
During the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020, 110 patients receiving KRT tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 amounting to 2% of the prevalent KRT population. Of those affected, 86 were receiving haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis and 24 had a renal transplant. Patients who tested positive were older and more likely to reside in more deprived postcodes. Mortality was high at 26.7% in the dialysis patients and 29.2% in the transplant patients.
The rate of detected SARS-CoV-2 in people receiving KRT in Scotland was relatively low but with a high mortality for those demonstrating infection. Although impossible to confirm, it appears that the measures taken within dialysis units coupled with the national shielding policy, have been effective in protecting this population from infection.