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

Disaster Preparedness

The Ebola virus epidemic was a wake-up call for disaster preparedness, but it did not gain traction because of its limited impact on society. The COVID-19 pandemic is so widespread that disaster preparedness is inevitable. Like the fire drill, we may well have drills for such disasters in the future.

A stockpiling of personal protective equipment, N95 respirators and surgical masks and engineering controls are bound to emerge. While stockpiling may be necessary, it should not be reactive and should be carefully considered. For example, it may be more sensible to have such stockpiles at a national or state level in order to conserve resources.

Preparedness by dialysis chains to dedicate units or areas for such emergencies will emerge. Reduced reliance on central water delivery systems and increased performance of dialysis in individual rooms with the aid of innovative machines such as one that uses a cartridge to remove toxins is also likely.[12]

Disaster preparedness would be remiss if it did not consider an equitable distribution of healthcare workforce resources during a pandemic. A global response to the availability of physicians, nurses, dialysis technicians and other providers would smooth out shortages. For example, if Italy faces a shortage of medical personnel, there should be a pool of physicians and providers who would be available to address this shortage from other countries. The medical licensing boards are likely to change in the face of this crisis.