The coronavirus is causing devastating damage to patients’ organs — particularly triggering kidney failure, a New York hospital study released Thursday reveals.
Researchers found that 37 percent of the more than 5,449 patients treated at Northwell Health hospitals from March 1 to April 5 developed acute kidney injury or kidney failure.
The fatality rate was high. Of the 1,993 patients with kidney failure, 694 — 35 percent — died.
Another 26 percent of the patients were discharged and 39 percent were still hospitalized.
Kidney failure was linked to respiratory failure. About 90 percent of patients on ventilators developed AKI, the analysis by Northwell Feinstein Institutes revealed.
Only 21 percent of non-ventilated COVID-19 patients developed kidney failure.
AKI is a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage, which leads to the body’s inability to filter out the waste.
Risk factors for developing AKI include age, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
Older males and black patients with COVID-19 were at high-risk for kidney failure, the study said.
Researchers discovered an “alarming number” of hospitalized COVID patients developed kidney failure during the height of the pandemic — rates higher than reported from China, according to the new data published in Kidney International, the official journal of the International Society of Nephrology.
The report said that 285 of the patients — or 14 percent with AKI — required dialysis treatment.
“Working amidst the COVID-19 epicenter was an experience we will never forget. Nephrologists and the dialysis staff were on the front lines of this battle trying to help every patient we could,” said researcher Dr. Kenar Jhaveri, MD, an author of the paper.
“We hope to learn more about the COVID-19 related AKI in the coming weeks, and that by sharing what we have learned from our patients, other doctors and their patients can benefit,” he said.
Feinstein Institutes CEO Kevin Tracy said, “Dr. Jhaveri’s findings, based on the largest defined cohort of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, highlights the danger of kidney injury in this setting, an important new insight into this disease.
The Northwell/Feinstein Institutes COVID-19 study is the largest of its kind in the country. Northwell runs New York State’s largest network of hospitals that include Lenox Hill, Long Island Jewish and Staten Island U. facilities.
Northwell/Feinstein researchers are conducting a number of studies of patients. They recently found that nearly all coronavirus patients had at least one underlying medical condition that put them at risk of contracting the killer bug.