Nursing home patients who receive dialysis treatment could be at greater risk for contracting Covid-19, as well as hospitalization and death from the disease, according to research published Tuesday in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Researchers from the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine looked at an outbreak of Covid-19 among the 164 residents of a Maryland nursing home.
As of April 30, 15 of 32 – or almost 50% – of residents who received dialysis had positive Covid-19 test results, compared with 22 of 138 patients – or 16% – of residents who did not receive dialysis.
Hospitalization and death rates were also higher among patients who were going through dialysis.
Among the residents who tested positive, 8 of 15 were hospitalized, compared to 4 of 22 patients who did not receive dialysis treatment.
Those undergoing dialysis were also more like to die within 30 days –– about 6 out of 15 people, compared to 6 out of 22 people who were not receiving dialysis.
Some context: Residents receiving dialysis are particularly vulnerable because they often have more underlying medical conditions that have been associated with more severe Covid-19 infection, and they could be more frequently exposed to people outside of the nursing home.
“Residents leaving their rooms for dialysis could be a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 introduction into the nursing home and might pose an underrecognized source of transmission, both in the dialysis center and in the nursing home,” the researchers said. “Better monitoring and understanding of the risks associated with residents who regularly leave the facility for outpatient health care is needed.”