Hemodialysis and Covid-19

Submitted by Hôpital Charles-Lemoyne CISSSMC
September 9, 2020

Summer of 2020.

I started to work in the hemodialysis department. It was all new to me, the patients, the machines, and the setting as I was also working in external clinics. In these clinics, safety measures were established to prevent any propagation of the virus. For example, patients were called the day before their treatment to be asked questions about their health and to screen for any signs or symptoms of Covid-19. This was done before each treatment which they usually have three per week. These questionnaires were done by nurses that had to be removed from the setting because of pregnancies or illnesses. Moreover, in the clinics, everyone had a mask including the patients, and the staff had face shields. Also, visitors were forbidden. This is all to keep the external clinics “Green Zone”, so no Covid-19 cases there. On the other hand, at the Hospital, it is where the Covid-19 positive or suspected cases were having their hemodialysis treatments. It was a different setting and we also had different cases. Therefore, PPE was needed at the hospital and there were nurses that were dedicated to “Red Zone” to avoid moving everyone around and spread the virus even more if it became possible at any time. We had to be extra careful to not mix these positive patients with the others as these patients live with chronic renal failure and we could not risk contaminating this at-risk population.