Since the beginning of the pandemic coronavirus doctors around the world are complaining of lack of ventilators, since the virus mainly affects the respiratory tract, and in severe cases, enters the lungs, causing respiratory failure. About it writes BBC.
Recently, however, doctors in the United States and China noted that among those infected has increased dramatically the number of people with kidney failure. As a result, the hospitals are already visible acute shortage of dialysis machines (“artificial kidney”), as well as medical staff who know how to handle such patients, not to mention necessary medications.
Because the new virus is extremely poorly understood, it is impossible to say whether it affects the kidneys directly, or is it just a side effect of infection.
It is known that people who already have health problems and comorbidities, usually carry Covid-19 is heavier than the other. Many patients may simply not know that they have kidney problems.
But it is possible that in the case of excessive activation of the immune system: after discovering a strange infection, it begins to attack not only the virus itself, but also the healthy cells of its own body, including such a sensitive organ such as the kidneys.
According to one version, those infected often have clots in the blood vessels, and this, in turn, may also affect the kidneys, is a network of the finest capillaries.
It is also known that the kidneys are closely associated with the liver and bladder. And now many doctors fear that if cases Covid-19 there are problems with the kidneys, it is not excluded that in the near future can begin a wave of complications and related bodies.
To save not to die
At the moment all this is just theory though, as the experience of several previous epidemics, the health workers should be prepared for the unexpected options for the development of infection.
Now in many hospitals, doctors have to decide which patients to connect to machines hemodialysis and in what order, as at all “artificial kidney” is not enough.
In other words, you have to save only those who have a higher chance to survive — more severe patients may have to die without the necessary help.
Further exacerbating the situation is an acute shortage of trained hemodialysis nurses.
According to the latest American doctors, from severe kidneys are suffering from 20 to 40% of all patients who are in intensive care with a coronavirus — and all of them required hemodialysis.
This has already led to a shortage of devices “artificial kidney” and is necessary for the procedure of medical drugs, because no one expected such a sharp rise in the number of patients needing this procedure.
According to Dr Barbara Murphy from the American network hospitals Mount Sinai, only one clinic, the number of patients that need hemodialysis, has tripled.
In the U.S., the apparatus “artificial kidney” and all necessary materials produce only two major companies. In both reported that the demand for their products has increased five times — and not only in USA but also in China and Europe.
In some new York hospitals, doctors are forced to resort to less effective and more risky method of blood purification — dialysis perinatalnogo. It is usually used when milder disorders kidney — but, as the doctors say, it’s better than nothing.
The lessons of past epidemics
Gradually scientists are beginning to understand what organs affect the new coronavirus and how he does it.
In the early 2000-ies of epidemic “SARS” SARS has spread to three dozen countries. Then the scientists found that the causative agent, the virus SARS-CoV enters cells of the human body with the help of two proteins: one is the cellular receptor ACE2, another enzyme TMPRSS2.
It is now clear that the virus SARS-Cov-2, causing Covid-19 is almost identical — and this tells scientists which organs are most at risk. Specifically the Airways, intestine and, apparently, kidneys, as there are both required for the virus protein.
In addition, health systems in many countries have learned from the HIV epidemic that began in the early 1980-ies.
It was also said that the disease is dangerous only for members of certain risk groups, and for a long time it was thought that HIV only threatens homosexual men, and to have undergone blood transfusion or have Haitian ancestry.
But after AIDS began to die, including white heterosexual wealthy women, the authorities became worried and immediately changed the rules to test new drugs and medicines to extreme situations like the epidemic it could be done quickly, literally within months, not years.
Something similar is happening now. Quarantine is introduced almost everywhere, and in the search for vaccines and specific drugs from the new coronavirus thrown a huge force. Testing some prototypes of the vaccine on humans has already begun.
But the development of a vaccine, and especially the drugs coronavirus can take a very long time. It is possible that over time Covid-19 will become just a chronic disease that can be monitored.