“Thank you once again, informative and helped make things clearer so we can make informed decisions.”
On 9 June, Dr Mike Stephens, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, answered questions from people with kidney disease about shielding at a session hosted by Kidney Wales.
The key messages from the session were:
• Until there is a vaccine or an effective treatment, the only thing we can do is to avoid getting Coronavirus. The priority is to prevent transplanted patients, older patients, and older transplanted patients picking up the virus.
• The advice for shielding is clear: stay at home, with the exception of keeping a social distance of 2m for exercising outdoors and meeting another family outside. You must not go into other people’s houses.
• Following advice on shielding and hand hygiene can keep your risk of Coronavirus really low. However shielding is difficult to do in practice and so a balance must be found with what is achievable and gives you an acceptable quality of life. Stick at it – this won’t last forever.
• You are advised to wear a mask when you are out of the house and in any area where a social distance cannot be maintained. Request your mask from Kidney Wales here!
• The decision on whether your child(ren) return to school must be your decision, based on what you know about your child, yourself and your circumstances. If you are shielding and there is a realistic option to not send your children back to school at this stage, that would be reasonable.
• The vaccines that are being tested at the moment are not live vaccines and so would be safe for transplant patients.
• If you’re asked to come to hospital, please be assured that effective measures are in place to ensure it is safe to do so.
• Most transplant units across the UK are looking at how to re-open in a phased way, with priority given to the lowest risk patients. For Welsh patients, transplants are either done in Cardiff or Liverpool.
If you have doubts or questions, please speak to your kidney team who know you, your condition and your personal circumstances and will be able to give you the best individualised advice.
Please send your ideas for any topics you would like to see covered in future Q&A sessions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to further information:
• Coronavirus guidance for people with kidney disease, produced by Kidney Care UK.
• Welsh Government guidance on shielding
• Find out what financial support is available for people affected by COVID-19
• Welsh Government guidance on education, childcare and Coronavirus
• How are you doing? Public Health Wales guidance on staying well at home