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Preparing for the Next Disaster: Dialysis Community Briefs Hill About Emergency Response
Date:2/26/2009

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  • 55% for Native Americans.
  • 49% for African Americans.
  • 42% for Caucasians.

  • Since Kidney patients typically need four hours of dialysis three days each week in order to eliminate waste, toxins and extra fluids from their system, these increases also underscore the need for emergency planning. Any interruption caused by storms, floods, fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters that might affect electrical power, water lines or make routine travel impractical is life-threatening.

    Thinking ahead is even more important than ever. "We're lucky that the dialysis community and emergency responders are working together to prevent the loss of lives," said Bill Numbers. "We simply need to ensure that we are doing everything we can, including educating the public."

    Since March is National Kidney Month, briefing organizers hope to focus attention on the impact of natural disasters on dialysis patients. They also want the public to know what is already being done. Kelly Mayo, Project Director, Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition, spoke about her organization's work with dialysis providers around the country. And Numbers described the evolution of FMCNA's response and recovery efforts, beginning with the Northeast power outage in 2003 through Hurricane Ike and Gustav. In 2008, Numbers said over 100 clinics and 8000 patients were affected during the 3 hurricanes in August through September 2008. During that time, Fresenius provided care to more than 500 non-Fresenius patients and brought in 4 large generators and diesel fuel to supplement local alternative power in Houston and Beaumont communities.

    Reflecting on the importance of response and recovery efforts by Fresenius, KCER, and others, Bill Numbers said:
    "We are committed to doing this whenever we have to and at whatever the cost. When it comes to dialysis patients, they have no options in a disaster. It is a
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