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Nephrologists Reassess Disaster Response Strategies

muscle damage from crush injuries can cause a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which can rapidly lead to ARF.

In response to these disasters, the Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition (KCERC) was formed, with representatives from over 50 governmental and private organizations. A second article by Dr. Kopp and colleagues outlines the KCERC's plans for responding to future emergencies that interrupt dialysis services. The recommendations focus on establishing 'a timeline to safety' for dialysis patients: 'If we accomplish specific tasks at each disaster stage, then it is likely that we can protect the health of these vulnerable patients,' the authors conclude. They note that health care providers should 'create an individualized disaster plan for each patient, and review the plan regularly with each patient.' The KERC's approach may also help to guide disaster preparedness planning for other vulnerable populations.

Dr. Robert J. Kenney of Renal Associates of Baton Rouge, LLC, focuses on the need for every dialysis center to develop a specific disaster plan, addressing issues like communication, which was one of the most critical challenges after Katrina; electrical and water supplies; and special patient populations, such as evacuees and children. 'The lack of organization and miscommunication following Katrina prompted providers at all levels to ask just how prepared dialysis facilities are for future catastrophes,' says Dr. Kenney. 'We hope to stimulate physicians, dialysis facilities, and staff to familiarize themselves with emergency preparedness concepts while noting specific resources where more specific information can be obtained.'

Dr. Masafumi Fukagawa of Kobe University offers insights from the viewpoint of a renal physician in Japan, where various types of natural disasters not only earthquakes and typhoons, but volcanic eruptions and tsunamis are a threat. Drawing on the experience of the Hanshin-Awaji Ear
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