Follow-up and management of kidney transplant recipients during the COVID-19 lockdown: The experience of an italian transplant center, including two cases of COVID-19 pneumonia
Carucci, Anna Cecilia
Norcia, Monica Di
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Background. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new infectious disease that emerged in China in late 2019 and is now spreading around the world. Social distancing measures were needed to reduce transmission, and lockdown included restricted access to health care facilities. The impact of COVID-19 on transplant recipients is unknown, but considering their immunosuppression status and associated comorbidities, they should be considered a high-risk population. Methods. A kidney transplant center in Central Italy implemented a strategy to maintain follow-up of kidney transplant recipients by phone and e-mail during lockdown. Telephone interviews were used to administer a clinical questionnaire to patients, and e-mail was used to receive the results of diagnostic tests conducted in outpatient settings. Results. From March 17 to April 23, 2020, a total of 143 kidney transplant recipients were contacted. Twenty-eight patients needed in-hospital consultation for problems unrelated to COVID-19, 3 of whom needed hospitalization. Eleven patients were managed at home for mild urinary or respiratory diseases, and 1 was referred to the hematologist. We identified 2 suspected cases of COVID-19 infection, and the patients were referred to hospital care. Immunosuppressive therapy was modulated, and intravenous corticosteroids and potentially effective antiviral therapy were administered with a favorable outcome. Conclusions. In the context of a lockdown, such as that occurring in response to COVID-19, we suggest implementing remote surveillance programs in kidney transplant recipients with the help of any available technology and offering medical consulting and logistic support as needed.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.transproceed.2020.06.026
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