The emergency department care for hemodialysis patient during the COVID-19 pandemic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Emergency Medicine






COVID-19; Dialysis; Emergency department; End-stage kidney disease; Hemodialysis; Nephrology


© 2020 Elsevier Inc. The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to patients with end-stage kidney disease who receive treatment in outpatient dialysis centers. These patients represent a fragile population that is at higher risk for both infection and transmission. At the start of the pandemic, many suspected COVID-19 dialysis patients were diverted to the emergency department (ED) for testing/treatment, placing a tremendous burden on the ED and inpatient dialysis units. Several recommendations and guidelines have been established to optimize patient care while also decreasing the burden on the ED and inpatient dialysis units and maximizing the ability to perform outpatient hemodialysis. As the pandemic continues, dialysis facilities will have an increasing burden to provide safe and accessible dialysis, while also being able to direct patients to the ED for either emergent dialysis or COVID-19 treatment/testing. We reviewed opinions, recommendations and guidelines developed by professional organizations and dialysis facilities for the management of “patients under investigation” (PUIs) and COVID-19 positive patients that depend on whether the suspicion occurs while the patient is at home vs. at the dialysis center.

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