Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious viral disease that is caused by the novel virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has become pandemic since December 2019, when the first case developed in Wuhan, China. Patients receiving hemodialysis are more vulnerable to viral transmission because their immune functions are impaired and they receive treatment within a narrow space. Calling on previous experience with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome during the 2015 outbreak, the joint committee of the Korean Society of Nephrology and the Korean Society of Dialysis Therapy quickly formed a COVID-19 task force team to develop a manual before the first index case was diagnosed in the hemodialysis unit. This special article introduces clinical practice guidelines to prevent secondary transmission of COVID-19 within hemodialysis facilities, which were developed to protect patients, healthcare workers, and caregivers from this highly transmissible virus. The areas of infection control covered by these guidelines include standard precautions, performing dialysis therapy for confirmed or suspected cases, performing cohort isolation for contact patients, and disease monitoring and contact surveillance. We hope these guidelines help healthcare workers and hemodialysis patients around the world cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19; Hemodialysis units; Infection control; Practice guideline.
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