In-Center Dialysis and Coronavirus (COVID-19): Protecting Your Health

Your health is our top priority. As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, we are taking additional steps in our dialysis centers to protect you and your care team. There are also things you can do at home to help protect your physical health and wellbeing in these unusual times—such as washing your hands properly, staying home as much as possible, and keeping 6 feet away from other people if you do have to go out.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU ARE SICK

Contact your doctor immediately if you feel unwell, have shortness of breath, or have a fever at or above 100.0°. He or she can give you instructions for getting the care you need.

Patient safety in dialysis centers

Your care team is taking steps to reduce the chance of COVID-19 transmission. Precautions during dialysis treatment include:

  1. All individuals entering the center are screened for fever and cough, as well as for potential COVID-19 contact risk.
  2. Strict handwashing on entering and leaving the center will be firmly enforced.
  3. Visitors are not permitted in our dialysis centers to help minimize the risk to you and our employees. 
  4. You will receive a mask to wear while in the center waiting room and treatment area.
  5. Each staff member will wear a mask, full protective gown, and gloves while in contact with you in any area.
  6. Individuals who develop a fever, a cough, or other symptoms of acute illness will receive their dialysis in a separate environment. We will avoid sending you to the hospital unless absolutely necessary.
  7. The center has been intensively disinfected, and this will be done on a daily and ongoing basis.
  8. While more laboratories are starting to test for COVID-19, testing kits are still not easily available. We are working hard with local laboratories to get all individuals who have had possible exposure as soon as possible.

How to manage anxiety in uncertain times

COVID-19 is still new—and the situation seems to change often. If you’re feeling anxious, worried, depressed, or low energy, you are not alone. For many people, schedules have been disrupted, routines are changing, and talk about coronavirus is everywhere. To help manage anxiety, stress, and coping, consider these suggestions:

  • Keep your routine as much as possible—this includes keeping up with your dialysis treatment schedule and care team appointments. Getting enough dialysis and staying for your full treatment time is very important to your health.
  • Limit your COVID-19 news time—surrounded by newspapers, news on tv, internet feeds, and social media, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the news on coronavirus. Staying informed is good, though a constant stream of stressful news can impact your emotional health. Choose when you’re going to look at news, pick reliable sources, and put a limit on your viewing time.
  • Recognize what anxiety or depression look like for you—everyone copes with stress differently. Learn to recognize how your emotions affect you—constant worry, headache, nausea, tiredness—and find ways to relieve your stress.
  • Find ways to care for your wellbeing—it’s important take good care of yourself while dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety and figuring out what helps you cope. That may mean talking things out with a loved one, taking a walk, or focusing only on the present.
Get Tips For Coping With Anxiety and Other Emotions

Making the shift to working from home

If you’re used to working at your place of business and you’re now working at home, the change can take some getting used to. Working while on dialysis can require planning in normal circumstances—and, now that you’re at home, your routine might need to change. Here are a few ideas for adjusting to a new work situation:


Talk to your care team about your new work situation

If working from home changes your schedule or your transportation to the center, talk to your care team about finding solutions to any challenges. You can also talk to your supervisor at work about any adjustments you need to make, so everyone is aware.

Plan ahead for any transportation changes
If you usually get a ride or take public transportation to and from your dialysis appointment, you may need to rethink your travel times or method.

Stay on track with healthy, kidney-friendly eating 
Working from home puts you close to your kitchen, all day long. Combined with the possibility of feeling more stress, this can lead to feeling extra hungry. Plan out your kidney-friendly meals and snacks, so you can stay on track and keep up with healthy habits.

LEARN ABOUT THE FREEDOM OF HOME DIALYSIS

There are big benefits to home dialysis—it offers greater flexibility so you can keep the lifestyle you love. Find out if starting or switching to home dialysis is right for you.

Watch Now

What to do about dialysis treatment if you get sick

It is very important that you continue to get dialysis treatment. Skipping dialysis treatments can cause a dangerous buildup of toxins, waste, and excess fluid in your body. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you or your care partner should notify your care team immediately for instructions on continuing care. If you have any symptoms of being sick—including a fever of 100.0 or higher, coughing, or difficulty breathing—notify your care team immediately, before your appointment. Your care team will give you exact instructions on next steps and how to continue treatment.


Telehealth options can help you get the care you need

Telehealth is virtual healthcare—or having your care team appointments over the phone or computer. Being able to have virtual visits with your care team can cut down on the number of in-person appointments you need during COVID-19. While you’ll still see a nurse during your in-center dialysis appointments, your care team may use telehealth for nephrologist visits or appointments with your dietitian or social worker. Based on your needs, you may have telehealth visits from home or while in the center. Your care team will only recommend telehealth if it's your best option.

For telehealth at home, you’ll need:

  • A plugged-in or fully charged, internet-enabled device with a camera—such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • A high-speed internet connection—like DSL, a cable modem, Wi-Fi, or an unlimited data plan
  • A quiet, private, well-lit area for the visit
Learn More About Telehealth

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