COVID-19 in patients undergoing renal replacement therapy in Scotland: findings and experience from the Scottish Renal Registry

Samira Bell, Jacqueline Campbell, Jackie McDonald, Martin O’Neill, Chrissie Watters, Katharine Buck, Zoe Cousland, Mark Findlay, Nazir I. Lone, Wendy Metcalfe, Shona Methven, Robert Peel, Alison Almond, Vinod Sanu, Elaine Spalding, Peter C. Thomson, Patrick B. Mark, Jamie P. Traynor, The Scottish Renal Registry (SRR)

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


Introduction Infection with the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a worldwide pandemic with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, overwhelming healthcare systems globally. Preliminary reports suggest a high incidence of infection and mortality with SARS-CoV-2 in patients receiving renal replacement therapy (RRT). The aims of this study are to report characteristics, rates and outcomes of all patients affected by infection with SARS-CoV-2 undergoing RRT in Scotland.

Methods Study design was an observational cohort study. Data were linked between the Scottish Renal Registry, Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group national data sets using a unique patient identifier (Community Health Index (CHI)) for each individual by the Public Health and Intelligence unit of Public Health, Scotland. Descriptive statistics and survival analyses were performed.

Results During the period 1st March 2020 to 31st May 2020, 110 patients receiving RRT tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 amounting to 2% of the prevalent RRT population. Of those affected, 87 were receiving haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis and 24 had a renal transplant. Patients who tested positive were older and more likely to reside in more deprived postcodes. Mortality was high at 26.7% in the dialysis patients and 29.2% in the transplant patients.

Conclusion The rate of detected SARS-CoV-2 in people receiving RRT in Scotland was relatively low but with a high mortality for those demonstrating infection. Although impossible to confirm, it appears that the measures taken within dialysis units coupled with the national shielding policy, have been effective in protecting this population from infection.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2020


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