The Aftermath of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Devastation or a New Dawn for Nephrology?

Rajiv Agarwal


Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2020;35(6):904-907. 

In This Article


In the worldwide fight against an invisible enemy, the world has learned incredible new ways to collaborate. Within days after the epidemic unfolded in North America, two young physicians, Matthew Sparks and Swapnil Hiremath, curated an annotated resource for use by nephrologists.[1] With a group of colleagues, they were among the first to address the question of whether angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers should be stopped in patients who are taking these drugs. Their answer—which was to continue to take these medications—was later supported both by a statement from the European Society of Cardiology[2] and a scholarly review in the New England Journal of Medicine.[3] In the context of the epidemic, under the umbrella of the World Health Organization, a large randomized worldwide trial was launched to evaluate outcomes of various drug regimens.[4] Medical journals collaborated with their readers. For example, JAMA sent out a call for ideas to conserve personal protective equipment, which was in short supply.[5] Engineers and physicians collaborated both at Oxford, UK[6] and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA[7] to innovate low-cost ventilators that they made open source. The fight against the virus made humans unite, collaborate and forget their differences—it was a demonstration of global solidarity.