COVID-19, kidney injury and need for vaccine shot

Synopsis: Covid-19 pandemic has long-term effects on internal organs. This article deals with issues with its impact on Kidney.

Introduction:

COVID-19 damages many organs including the lungs, heart and kidneys. A severe form of the disease is seen in older adults and people with chronic heart, kidney and lung diseases, diabetes or other conditions that render the immune system weak.

What is the impact of Covid-19 on kidneys?

Kidney injury: More deaths are reported in those who have acute kidney injury. Research, in Southern India, reported prevalence of kidney injury was 7% in a study of 2,650 patients admitted to a large hospital.

A USA Study reported kidney injury in as many as 46% of 3,993 hospitalised patients, of whom 19% required dialysis.

What were research findings on the impact of the pandemic on the Kidney? 

Researchers have been doing the study to understand the microscopic changes in kidneys in people infected with Coronavirus. They have found that:

Thrombi or blood clots, as seen in the lungs and heart, may also be seen in the kidney. They have also found Inflammation (influx of white blood cells) in the kidney.

Mayo clinic research: It showed that Kidney damage may occur due to a strong immune response in the kidney. The immune response was seen in all parts of the kidney tissue, including the small blood vessels and in the glomerulus (filtering unit of the kidney). This was mostly seen in those with severe cases of COVID-19.

What are the experts’ suggestions?

Experts suggested that the kidney injury in severe COVID-19 behaves similar to kidney injury from sepsis, which is the body’s extreme response to an infection.

How can we manage the impact of Covid-19 on other body parts?

First, use the patient specimens collected during the pandemic and gather and store data for current and future use.

Second, A study of COVID-19 associated tissue injury has to be conducted among different populations to understand the issue further.

Third, by using state-of-the-art technology tools, we can analyse the body’s immune response and the impact of Covid-19 on various body parts.

Taken together, the severe kidney injury seen in COVID-19 further supports the need for widespread vaccination to protect everyone from this viral infection.

Source: This post is based on the article “COVID-19, kidney injury and need for vaccine shot “published in The Hindu on 14th September 2021.

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