SALEM: Even as several hospitals across the State turned patients away during the two Covid-19 waves, the Salem Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital (GMKMCH) performed more number of dialysis as compared to the pre-Covid period.
The GMKMCH is the only government hospital that caters to patients from eight districts including Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Erode, Kallakurichi and Villupuram for kidney related diseases. The Nephrology department in the hospital started in 1987.
Speaking to TNIE, head of nephrology department, P Nagarajan said, "Patients can be classified into three categories - people who are diabetic and have hypertension, people who suffer renal failure, and those who have congenital problems. The first group is in significant numbers, Kidneys do not fail in one day, their functioning is affected over five to 10 years. Until it is toolate, people do not realise they have a problem. If kidney disease is detected at the early stage, it could be cured. After 80 per cent of kidney damage, one needs dialysis. Diabetics should undergo screening every six months."
The hospital performs kidney transplants. In 2018 and 2021 one live kidney transplantation was performed. In 2020, three cadaver donor transplant were conducted and one transplant was performed in 2021, he added.
GMKMCH dean Valli Sathyamoorthy said during the first and second wave of Covid-19, the hospital performed hemodialysis for 4,035 patients in 2019, 6,314 patients in 2020, 7,487 patients in 2021 and 1,816 patients till March first week of 2022.
In 2020, hemodialysis performed for 434 Covid patients, 412 patients in 2021 and 77 patients in 2022. On an average 30 patients undergo dialysis every day, she added.