We anticipate a tsunami in public health: Covid creates dialysis ...

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We anticipate a tsunami in public health: Covid creates dialysis crisis

Doctors say transplant suspension has put programme under severe strain and restricts access to new patients

Journalist

Almost two years after organ transplants were suspended due to Covid-19, which increases transplant patients’ risks of dying, some public health specialists say it is time to consider reviving this life-saving procedure.

Kidney specialists from two of the Western Cape’s biggest hospitals, Tygerberg and Groote Schuur, said despite the tremendous pressure on public hospitals to treat patients with end-stage kidney disease, severe bottlenecks on the dialysis programme had been worsened by the suspension of kidney transplants. This, with a shortage of dialysis machines, had created an “untenable situation” for doctors and their patients. As a result, dialysis machines were not being freed up, restricting new patients’ access to them.

In a South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) article, nephrologists from these hospitals urged health authorities to relieve the pressure by not only vaccinating dialysis patients against Covid-19, but increasing theatre time and allowing more organ transplants...

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