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Gulf Coast Dialysis Caregivers, Volunteers Brace for Hurricane Ike; Prepare to Maintain Power, Continued Access for Patients to Life-Saving Treatment
Date:9/9/2008

National Dialysis Providers, Patient Advocates Work with Local Kidney Community to Prepare for Storm's Impact

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the highest per capita population of kidney failure patients in the nation, the Gulf Coast region is bracing to avoid a potential healthcare crisis as Hurricane Ike nears, threatening to disrupt the administration of life-saving dialysis treatments to area dialysis patients. These individuals' lives depend on three dialysis treatments a week, which involve water, electricity and a highly trained medical staff to perform the treatment.

In order to prepare for the effects of the storms, the Gulf Coast kidney community is working vigorously with area doctors, nurses, dialysis technicians and others through the national Kidney Care Partners (KCP) network to ensure that any patients in need of care as the storm potentially hits are quickly located, identified and prepared for their treatments. This includes working with hundreds of local volunteers to:

-- Secure high-capacity generators with the capability to fully power area dialysis machines

-- Ensure that sufficient medical supplies are available in case of vendor transportation problems

-- Provide information to patients about facility locations in surrounding areas and identify alternate dialysis locations for any potentially damaged centers

-- Move fuel, generators and mobile homes to affected areas to serve as temporary housing for facility staff if necessary

-- Coordinate transportation for patients and dialysis facility staff in need of assistance

-- Arrange for volunteer staff to temporarily relocate to affected areas as needed

"We are impressed by and proud to be involved with the Gulf Coast kidney community's advance readiness efforts to ensure that its kidney patients will be well cared for during this potential weather crisis," said Dr. Ed Jones, a practicing nephrologist and Chairman of KCP. "Because thrice-weekly dialysis treatments can never stop for dialysis patients, a high level of coordination among physicians, clinics, providers, patients, caregivers and other volunteers - like that seen here in Texas - to provide continuous high-quality care is critical."

Many of the nation's dialysis facility and equipment providers, such as Fresenius and DaVita, have set up dedicated toll free hotlines to help Gulf Coast patients and their families potentially displaced by the storm locate nearby open clinics, schedule dialysis treatments and arrange alternative transportation as needed.

If you are a dialysis patient or family member interested in finding out more information, please call one of the following disaster hotlines dedicated to area preparations for dialysis care: (800) 626-1297 (Fresenius), (800) 400-8331 (DaVita); (877) 374-3375 (DSI).

About Kidney Care Partners

Kidney Care Partners is an alliance of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, providers and manufacturers working together to improve the quality of care for individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). For more information, visit http://www.kidneycarepartners.org.


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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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