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Impact of coronavirus disease-2019 on pediatric nephrology practice and education: an ESPN survey

Pediatr Nephrol. 2022 Aug;37(8):1867-1875 doi: 10.1007/s00467-021-05226-1.

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has been challenging for patients and medical staff. Radical changes have been needed to prevent disruptions in patient care and medical education.


A web-based survey was sent to European Society for Pediatric Nephrology (ESPN) members via the ESPN mailing list to evaluate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on delivery of pediatric nephrology (PN) care and educational activities. There were ten questions with subheadings.


Seventy-six centers from 24 countries completed the survey. The time period was between the beginning of the pandemic and May 30, 2020. The number of patients admitted in PN wards and outpatient clinics were significantly decreased (2.2 and 4.5 times, respectively). Telemedicine tools, electronic prescriptions, online applications for off-label drugs, and remote access to laboratory/imaging results were used in almost half of the centers. Despite staff training and protective measures, 33% of centers reported COVID-19 infected staff, and 29% infected patients. Difficulties in receiving pharmaceuticals were reported in 25% of centers. Sixty percent of centers suspended living-related kidney transplantation, and one-third deceased-donor kidney transplantation. Hands-on education was suspended in 91% of medical schools, and face-to-face teaching was replaced by online systems in 85%. Multidisciplinary training in PN was affected in 54% of the centers.


This survey showed a sharp decline in patient admissions and a significant decrease in kidney transplantation. Telemedicine and online teaching became essential tools, requiring integration into the current system. The prolonged and fluctuating course of the pandemic may pose additional challenges necessitating urgent and rational solutions.

Organ: Kidney
Language: English
Country: Turkey
MeSH terms: COVID-19; Child; Coronavirus; Humans; Nephrology; Pandemics; Telemedicine; Kidney Transplantation