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In anticipation of Winter Storm Nemo,
Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of
dialysis facilities, has activated its
Emergency Response Team to begin implementing plans to ensure continued patient care throughout areas in the Northeast which may be affected by the storm.
The Fresenius Medical Care Disaster Response Team, assisted by divisional, technical and regional employees, works closely with local governments and community organizations such as the
Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition to prepare for and respond quickly to a variety of disasters. FMCNA and its partners are ready to deliver generators and other supplies to facilities and employees affected by this storm. FMCNA staff are also providing extra treatment shifts for patients at clinics anticipated to be affected by the storm,
including clinics that may be required to close by state officials.
Patients seeking help with emergency plans or more information about arranging alternate dialysis clinics should call FMCNA’s toll-free Patient Emergency Hotline: 1-800-626-1297.
FMCNA recommends that dialysis patients have the following plans in place:
Keep emergency phone numbers handy. When bad weather threatens, contact your local dialysis facility and follow their instructions
Have a disaster plan. Talk to your doctor, dialysis care team and family about what you should do if a disaster strikes. Keep track of local weather forecasts.
Gather emergency supplies. Have a first-aid kit on hand, along with a flashlight (with extra batteries), blankets, battery-powered radio, cell phone, non-electric can opener and any necessary medications.
Make sure you have a ride. If you are an in-center patient, arrange for backup transportation to the clinic with a friend, neighbor or family member.
Plan for power outages. If you are a home dialysis patient and you lose power, follow the directions given to you by the home training staff for continuing dialysis in an emergency.
Adjust your insulin. If you are diabetic, ask your doctor how to adjust your insulin dosage if severe flooding is forecasted for your area.
While storms and other natural disasters can be inconvenient and even life-threatening for entire communities, they pose an especially serious health threat to dialysis patients whose treatments are delayed by electrical power outages or inability to access their normal treatment locations. Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) typically need dialysis treatment every two days to clean waste products from their blood and remove extra fluids.