Surge of covid-19 in Dialysis, Transplant and Cancer Patients at SIUT

The recent data from SIUT has revealed a surge of COVID infections in dialysis, transplant and cancer patients at SIUT. Due to the spread in the community last week, 55 additional patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer have been admitted in SIUT overwhelming our capacity.

Unfortunately, these patients are immunosuppressed and therefore contact infections readily and frequently and have to be protected vigorously; an example in hand is covid-19.

SIUT treats over 16000 patients whose immunity is compromised because of the disease or treatment. This include over 6,000 registered dialysis patients who have to come twice or thrice a week for free dialysis - a life-saving procedure for these patients. To date 41 dialysis patients are under treatment for covid-19 and at least two patients are being diagnosed daily.

SIUT also has 5000 renal transplant recipients on regular life-time follow-up who are also immunocompromised. Around 20 to 22 transplant patients are infected with covid-19 who are getting vigorous treatment including high regimen immunosuppression. SIUT invests 2 billion of rupees yearly only on the care of dialysis and transplant patients, as all treatment is free to the patients.

SIUT also has more than 5000 cancer patients availing anti-cancer treatment facilities and can present with serious and sometimes fulminant course needing intensive and prolonged treatment.

SIUT has marshalled its team to provide urgent treatment for this special group of patients of dialysis, transplant and cancer, which requires prolonged intensive care.

Upto last week there were only four centres, public and private, which were not sufficient to treat the large burden of covid patients. It is commendable that the Government of Sindh took further steps and facilitated more hospitals with covid treatment. Presently 10 centres (public and private) have been established in Karachi for the treatment of covid-patients along with ventilator support.

This will help SIUT to concentrate on this select group of covid patients on dialysis, post-transplant and cancer more effectively who require specialized treatment due to their immunocompromised status.