CKD patients to continue dialysis during Covid 19 outbreak urges NKF
People with kidney disease and transplant recipients are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
There are various doubts in the minds of patients with chronic kidney disease whether to continue with their dialysis or not during Covid 19 pandemic.
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and more than 90 percent are unaware they have it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. But all such patients who are diagnosed cases of chronic kidney disease and on dialysis need proper guidance.
The National Kidney Foundation issued a statement and has urged patients on dialysis to continue undergoing their treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is extremely important for kidney patients to continue with their regularly scheduled dialysis treatments and take extra precautions when visiting the facilities to best protect their health," said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer of National Kidney Foundation (NKF). "Skipping dialysis can lead to serious adverse effects and increases the risk for hospitalization. Using social distancing, washing hands as much as possible, staying away from those who are clearly sick, and streamlining travel routes as much as possible from home to the dialysis clinic can all help reduce the risk of contracting the virus."
"All kidney patients, including those with chronic kidney disease (CKD), those treated with home dialysis, and kidney transplant recipients should partner with their healthcare teams to postpone routine face-to-face medical and dental visits, substituting video or telemedicine visits whenever feasible," added Dr. Vassalotti.
Dialysis patients should closely follow the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Kidney Foundation also urges every kidney patient to be prepared with the necessary supplies at home should an outbreak occur in their community. Resources on shelf-stable food items and information on how to stay safe are available on kidney.org.
"Americans treated with dialysis have the right to expect that their facility is implementing the highest safety precautions necessary to reduce the risk of infection," stressed Dr. Vassalotti. "If dialysis patients are feeling ill, they should contact their dialysis care team ahead of time so that they can be properly assessed to organize ongoing dialysis care safely."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidelines to dialysis facilities on March 10, 2020 on how to safely dialyze this high-risk population amidst a national health crisis. NKF developed a patient-friendly version of the guidelines, available at kidney.org, which explains what patients should expect from their dialysis clinic at each visit, and who to contact if their dialysis facility is not implementing these safety precautions.
All patients with kidney disease, including kidney transplant recipients and those who dialyze at home, should partner with their healthcare teams to postpone routine face-to-face medical and dental visits, substituting video or telemedicine visits whenever feasible, Dr Vassalotti added. In addition, dialysis patients should closely follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). NKF also urges all patients with kidney disease to be prepared with the necessary supplies at home should an outbreak occur in their community.
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