Isaac and Preparedness

I’m reading and hearing about patients impacted by Isaac.  Let me take this opportunity to make some important points.  I’ll pick up on my posting about “Dialysis and the Procedure” later.  This is too important. 

We learned a lot about disaster prep after Katrina here in Texas.  The ESRD Network members here got together and produced a great website and accompanying materials.  They started the TEEC, Texas ESRD Emergency Coalition. See their website for very important and valuable information!

However, there are still patients and centers that aren’t paying attention and are learning the hard way.  The DPC tweeted this today (8/30/12):

Woman who requires #dialysis was rescued from Plaquemines Parish and taken to the hospital…so important to evacuate when you are told to!

You’d think someone in a hurricane-prone area would know better but perhaps she’s new to the scene.  Who knows?

The Social Worker at my center mentioned that she took in a patient on Monday who came with her dialysis information dated from June!  The patient’s center didn’t have more recent information!? That center was obviously unprepared for the hurricane/storm.  When the SW called the center to get more recent patient data, there was no answer, no message telling patients what to do and where to call for help.  They abandoned ship!  We can all learn from that but you’d think a center in a hurricane area would have been ahead of the curve.  Ask your center about their Disaster Planning and point them to the TEEC website.  Get phone numbers to call in an emergency!

The important thing is that you’re not in a bad position by reason of ignorance.  The storms of recent months have been really out of the ordinary.  Areas that rarely see disasters are experiencing them.  So, if you’re a patient or caregiver, get prepared.  See my posting about “Dialysis and Disaster Planning

Fresenius (a dialysis provider) sent out a news release before the Isaac hit, warning patients about it and providing some good information about being prepared:

Fresenius Medical Care, the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, offers the following disaster preparedness tips for dialysis patients:

  1. Keep your emergency phone numbers handy. When bad weather threatens, contact your local facility and follow instructions they may provide. In a disaster, Fresenius Medical Care offers a patient hotline at 1-800-626-1297 for patients who need help finding the nearest open dialysis facility. The hotline is staffed by customer service specialists who can provide locations and contact numbers for alternate facilities, if necessary.
  2. Carry your up-to-date personal information with you at all times (ID, medication and allergy lists, insurance, emergency contact information, type of dialysis treatment).
  3. Talk to your doctor and family about your evacuation plan — what you should do and where you should go if a disaster strikes. Keep track of local weather forecasts.
  4. Create an Emergency Kit with emergency supplies and at least one extra three-day supply of medicines. Many patients find it convenient to keep medicines and medical supplies in an easy-to-carry fanny pack or backpack.
  5. Store a three-day supply of food based on your emergency meal plan. Speak with your healthcare team about when to begin following your emergency plan. Limit fluid intake to two cups per 24 hours and avoid fresh fruit and vegetables. Periodically check expiration dates of food items in the kit and replace when needed.

Note: Anyone who needs dialysis, whether or not they are a Fresenius Medical Care patient, can call 1-800-626-1297 to find the nearest open clinic. For more information on preparing for a disaster, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com and click on “Be Prepared.”

Don’t put if off any longer, consider the risks and prepare accordingly.

© 2012 DevonTexas

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About DevonTexas

I am a person with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) which means my kidneys don't work. Forty or so years ago that would have been a death sentence but today there is Dialysis which means I can be hooked up to a machine that will clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I go to a center and have too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passes through a process where it's cleaned and the fluid is removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time. I want to advance knowledge about dialysis so that other patients can learn from my experience and mistakes. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, eh? There is so much to be learned and experienced about our predicament. There are vast resources available to support us and enrich our lives but many patients don't know about them. There are also many issues that we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So I blog about them. All comments are confidential until I approve them. If you don't want your comment public, let me know and I will respect that. So, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy.
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