Doctor Shares Insight – Hollywood Life
HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY to Dr. Tania Dempsey MD about Sarah Hyland, who’s had two kidney transplants, taking proper precautions amid COVID-19 risk.
Actress Sarah Hyland has always been forthcoming about her multiple kidney transplant surgeries, being immunocompromised, and the medication she has to take in order to make sure her body does not reject her kidney from her second transplant in 2017. But during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Modern Family actress, 29 is one of the many at-risk people in the United States. As such, Sarah has been taking every precaution she can to ensure her healthy. “I am obviously immunocompromised with my transplant history and am on immunosuppressants, so everything in this house is sanitized. I just took a shot of hand sanitizer, so we’re good,” Sarah shared during her March 18 appearance on the Brad Behavior with Brad Goreski podcast.
Prior to the strict restrictions on limiting social interaction began Sarah had “talked to [her] nurse at the transplant clinic” and found out that “he risk is very high for…people over the age of 60, infants, and immunocompromised people,” like herself. In terms of her “game plan” to ensure her health and safety, Sarah revealed to the podcast host, “You know what I’m doing, I’m washing my hands constantly. My game plan right now is to stay home.” Indeed, staying home and quarantining is the best option for someone in Sarah’s condition, according to Dr. Tania Dempsey MD.
“I would say it’s critical for them to self-quarantine and stay at home to avoid people coming and going from their home,” Dr. Dempsey revealed about people in a condition similar to Sarah in HollywoodLife‘s EXCLUSIVE interview with the medical practitioner. The physician also reiterated to HL that it’s vital for people with a history of transplants to discourage people delivering items directly into their home, saying, “You don’t know who is exposed and carrying it.” Furthermore, Dr. Dempsey, whom HL also spoke to about Lyme disease, stressed that “the other problem with this virus is that it has a very long incubation period. It could be 14 or more days and so people may not show symptoms for a long time and think they’re fine when they’re fully not and simmering the infection inside.”
Because it’s so “very difficult to know” how the coronavirus infects people and manifests, Dr. Dempsey shared with HL that it’s hard to accurately track how it would affect people with autoimmune deficiencies. “In some patients, their immune system may be overreactive and so we can look at it and say they could possibly be more at risk. On the flip side, some of them are on medications that suppress the immune system,” Dr. Dempsey explained. “And so at some point we were thinking that that might be helpful because we’re using certain medications that are being looked at for this virus, are sort of suppressing the immune response, but at the same time suppressing their immune system might put them at greater risk as well.”
At the risk of sounding too “confusing,” Dr. Dempsey surmised, “It’s very unclear whether people with these different conditions are more at risk. And I would say, just my professional opinion, that they probably are more at risk if they had medical conditions that they’re being followed for. It’s just not clear which ones are the ones that are going to put them at the top.”
Dr. Dempsey’s final, imparting advice: “I think that everyone, whether they have an autoimmune condition or they’ve had Lyme disease or they’ve had anything, I think that you have to act as if you do have a condition that makes you more at risk because the reality is we don’t know for sure. Better to act safe and protect yourself the best you can.”