As the COVID-19 pandemic started sweeping across the United States this spring, hospitals began preparing for a surge in critically ill patients by increasing the numbers of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and trying to secure more ventilators. But they were “blindsided” by a huge increase in the need for renal replacement therapy among COVID-19 patients and the resulting shortages in dialysis nurses, equipment, and supplies, said Anitha Vijayan, MD, professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.
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