The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to be the focus for all of us in the medical community worldwide. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and will recover without requiring special treatment. However, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer, are more likely to develop serious illness.
More importantly, the coronavirus pandemic may present a significant threat for transplant patients, donors, and transplant programs around the world. Fortunately, so far, there are no transplant patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Baskent University centers located in various cities. We hope that this positive fact continues.
During these difficult times, valuable up-to-date information is needed on prevention and treatment methods, strategies, and available resources, as well as different protocols applied by different countries. Although there are no specific vaccines or treatments yet available for COVID-19, many ongoing clinical trials are presently evaluating potential treatments.
Interestingly, the rate of COVID-19 has been really low among our dialysis patients. We have 21 dialysis centers all over the country, with 2420 hemodialysis patients and 30 peritoneal dialysis patients. Only 3 patients have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which makes roundly 1 per 1000.
In a randomized study of 227 of the 2420 dialysis patients at Baskent University who were analyzed with the ELISA Architect Plus i 1000SR, 215 patients (94.7%) were shown to be hepatitis A antibody positive. At Baskent University Health Centers, we will continue to carry out this study as it reveals very important findings.*
Among our transplant community, societies like TTS (The Transplantation Society), MESOT (Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation), TOND (The Turkish Transplantation Society), and TDTD (Turkic World Transplantation Society) have already formed COVID-19 committees and prepared guidelines to provide their members with the most accurate data. These guidelines also include information on how to manage and handle the anticipated onslaught of coronavirus cases together with care of other patients with chronic diseases and with the usual surgical activities in their hospitals and countries. It is of utmost importance for our members to contact these committees through the headquarter offices of the above-mentioned societies to reach updated information and to direct queries if need be.
We are all navigating through uncertainty for ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. I hope that we will soon leave behind these challenging times, and I hope that you are staying healthy and safe.
Volume : 18
Issue : 2
Pages : 139 - 140
DOI : 10.6002/ect.2020.000e
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank to Hande Arslan, MD and Ozlem
Azap Kurt, MD from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Mrs. Semiha Kaya,
Managing Nurse of our Dialysis Centers and to our laboratory staff for their
contribution on this study.*
From the Division of Transplant Surgery, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey
Corresponding author: Mehmet Haberal, Taskent Cad. No. 77, 06490 Bahcelievler, Ankara, Turkey
Phone: +90 312 212 73 93