Clinical triage of patients on kidney replacement therapy presenting with COVID-19: An ERACODA registry analysis

Sandip Mitra*, Anuradha Jayanti, ERACODA Collaborators, Priya Vart, Armando Coca, Maurizio Gallieni, Marius Altern Øvrehus, Karsten Midtvedt, Samar Abd Elhafeez, Iliaria Gandolfini, Stefan Büttner, Casper F.M. Franssen, Marc H. Hemmelder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Patients on kidney replacement therapy (KRT) are at very high risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The triage pathway for KRT patients presenting to hospitals with varying severity of COVID-19 illness remains ill-defined. We studied the clinical characteristics of patients at initial and subsequent hospital presentations and the impact on patient outcomes. Methods: The European Renal Association COVID-19 Database (ERACODA) was analysed for clinical and laboratory features of 1423 KRT patients with COVID-19 either hospitalized or non-hospitalized at initial triage and those re-presenting a second time. Predictors of outcomes (hospitalization, 28-day mortality) were then determined for all those not hospitalized at initial triage. Results: Among 1423 KRT patients with COVID-19 [haemodialysis (HD), n = 1017; transplant, n = 406), 25% (n = 355) were not hospitalized at first presentation due to mild illness (30% HD, 13% transplant). Of the non-hospitalized patients, only 10% (n = 36) re-presented a second time, with a 5-day median interval between the two presentations (interquartile range 2-7 days). Patients who re-presented had worsening respiratory symptoms, a decrease in oxygen saturation (97% versus 90%) and an increase in C-reactive protein (26 versus 73 mg/L) and were older (72 vs 63 years) compared with those who did not return a second time. The 28-day mortality between early admission (at first presentation) and deferred admission (at second presentation) was not significantly different (29% versus 25%; P = 0.6). Older age, prior smoking history, higher clinical frailty score and self-reported shortness of breath at first presentation were identified as risk predictors of mortality when re-presenting after discharge at initial triage. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that KRT patients with COVID-19 and mild illness can be managed effectively with supported outpatient care and with vigilance of respiratory symptoms, especially in those with risk factors for poor outcomes. Our findings support a risk-stratified clinical approach to admissions and discharges of KRT patients presenting with COVID-19 to aid clinical triage and optimize resource utilization during the ongoing pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2308-2320
Number of pages13
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ERACODA received unrestricted research grants from the ERA-EDTA, the Dutch Kidney Foundation, Baxter and Sandoz.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.


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