Urgent Peritoneal Dialysis in Patients With COVID-19 and Acute Kidney Injury: A Single-Center Experience in a Time of Crisis in the United States

Am J Kidney Dis. 2020 Sep;76(3):401-406. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.06.001. Epub 2020 Jun 11.


At Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, NY, the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was admitted on March 11, 2020. At the height of the pandemic, there were 855 patients with COVID-19 admitted on April 13, 2020. Due to high demand for dialysis and shortages of staff and supplies, we started an urgent peritoneal dialysis (PD) program. From April 1 to April 22, a total of 30 patients were started on PD. Of those 30 patients, 14 died during their hospitalization, 8 were discharged, and 8 were still hospitalized as of May 14, 2020. Although the PD program was successful in its ability to provide much-needed kidney replacement therapy when hemodialysis was not available, challenges to delivering adequate PD dosage included difficulties providing nurse training and availability of supplies. Providing adequate clearance and ultrafiltration for patients in intensive care units was especially difficult due to the high prevalence of a hypercatabolic state, volume overload, and prone positioning. PD was more easily performed in non-critically ill patients outside the intensive care unit. Despite these challenges, we demonstrate that urgent PD is a feasible alternative to hemodialysis in situations with critical resource shortages.

Keywords: COVID nephropathy; COVID-19; acute care; acute kidney injury (AKI); acute renal failure (ARF); continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT); coronavirus; dialysis; intensive care unit (ICU); peritoneal dialysis (PD); resource allocation; resource shortage; urgent-start PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology
  • Acute Kidney Injury / therapy*
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Dialysis Solutions / supply & distribution
  • Health Services Needs and Demand* / trends
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / supply & distribution
  • Intensive Care Units / trends
  • Pandemics
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / methods*
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / trends
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Dialysis Solutions