More vulnerable to Covid 19 with only on... - Early CKD Support

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More vulnerable to Covid 19 with only one kidney?


I was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017 and had my right kidney removed - I am in remission but as I now only have one kidney have a reduced kidney function which I understand is normal. I do get the flu jab free ( I am 58). I have spoken to lots of different organisation about whether I should consider myself more vulnerable to Covid 19. Was wondering if anybody had any advice.

11 Replies

Garden40. from another sole kidney person, yes do self-isolate. The top two risks for those who contract Covid-19 are from pneumonia and kidney failure. Err on the side of caution and stay safe.

Thank you so much for your reply.

I have finally found some advice on Kidney Care uk

I only have one kidney – am I at risk?

Having one kidney does not put you at increased risk on its own. If your kidney function is normal you will not be at increased risk. For some people who have reduced kidney function (chronic kidney disease) your risk is increased due to the chronic kidney disease rather than having one kidney. If your kidney was removed, it is possible that the health reasons leading to the kidney removal will put your risk into the high risk group and if that is the case it is important to take the advice of the government to socially distance.

I think I have a normal kidney function for a person with one kidney so for the moment I just need to practice social distancing

imavlanka in reply to Garden40

I am possible in quite a rarified position.

My mother had her left kidney removed about 10 years ago due to a tumour. I was born without my left kidney a good 40 years ago, which took doctors until now to discover.

When testing kidney function in both of us, she tested a under par, but acceptable for somebody with one kidney. I tested as normal kidney function - before they found out out my missing one.

This was because the right kidney in me developed larger than normal to adjust to the extra workload.

I think my message here is to speak to a medical professional, who has seen you results and decide if you have "normal" or "normal for one kidney" function as there is a distinct difference.

Garden40 in reply to imavlanka

Thank you I did try to speak to my consultant but he was not available.

I will speak to my GP to see if I can get clarification.

Is your mum now self isolating?


Hi, i had my right kidney and adrenal gland removed in 2012 due to renal cell cancer and since then have had reduced kidney function. This is classed as chronic renal failure and yes, puts me in the at risk due to underlying conditions group as far as covid 19 goes.

I believe that anyone who is normally offered the flu vaccine should be self isolating for the reccomended 12 weeks. The NHS will be contacting all their vulnerable patients via their GP'S from tomorrow onwards so all being well I think we will get affirmation that way.

I live on my own with my dog in a flat so i have to go out 3 times a day at least to allow him to go potty. I would rather not go out at all to be honest.

Stay safe and keep well. X

Garden40 in reply to Hidden


Thank you for sharing your story with me - it's good to know that 8 years on you are still cancer free - I am still being scanned every year and my next one is on 24 April and as I am not sure that will still go ahead your story makes me feel less anxious.

I do understand what you are saying and I did even telephone my renal consultant and his secretary spoke to one of the nurses as he was not available and they did not know so finding the information on Kidney Care UK yesterday seemed to answer my question.

So it is really good that if I am classed as vulnerable as least I will get confirmation.

I work at Citizens Advice and our clients need our help to understand the implications of Covid 19 though we no longer offer face to face advice but I am still going into the office.

Even if you are self isolating because you fall into the vulnerable category my understanding is you can go out for walks as long as you practice social distancing and that you should be give priority for food delivers. If you need to shop in person for food lots of supermarkets are offering time slots for those who are vulnerable.

I also read that animal cannot get Covid 19.

Obviously if you have symptoms you must not go out.

If you do have question that I might be able to help with please let me know.

Take care and stay safe.

The prime minister advised people who have CKD to self isolate as the kidneys are as vulnerable as the lungs to attack by Coronovirus i have stage 3 CKD and I am isolating. So I would consider isolating in your condition....try talking to your doctor?

Garden40 in reply to dianegarden

Thank you for your response - I did try talking to my renal consultant but he was not available and so his secretary spoke to one of the nurses who did not know so the information on Kidney Care UK seems clear.

As far as I am aware I am not in the at risk group as although my kidney function is reduced my single kidney is working well.

I understand that GPs will be contacting those at risk so I should get clarification shortly.

In the meantime I am practising social distancing and following all the govt guidelines.

Stay safe and well

dianegarden in reply to Garden40

Ok take care..

Both of you stay safe and well . Xx

Hello, I am in a very similar to you in the fact that my left kidney had completely rotted away (not cancer but years of mistreatment and wrong diagnosis from Dr.) and was removed 7 years ago and I am stage 4 like you, my nephrologist only spoke to me on Friday as I was due to go for a check up this week and says not to go to the hospital and we had the chat on the phone instead. In his opinion we are counted among the most vulnerable , so answering your question yes you should count yourself vulnerable too. Good luck stay healthy.

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