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U.S. Kidney Dialysis Community Responds to Haiti's Emergency Plea for Life-Saving Dialysis Care
Date:1/17/2010

Kidney Care Partners' Members Provide Dialysis Equipment, Supplies, Medications, and On-the-Ground Clinical Staff to Haiti to Ensure Continued Patient Access to Life-Saving Treatment

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the wake of an earthquake that has devastated this Caribbean country, the U.S. kidney community has mobilized rapidly with the collection of millions of dollars as well as dialysis equipment, medications, supplies and clinical staff to assist in providing life-saving care to Haitian survivors living with kidney failure and in need of emergency treatment.

With hospitals and dialysis clinics in Haiti collapsed by the quake, members of Kidney Care Partners (KCP) – a coalition of patient advocates, dialysis professionals, care providers and manufacturers dedicated to improving quality of care for individuals with Chronic Kidney Disease – are working vigorously to respond to Haiti's pleas for dialysis assistance for this vulnerable population in need of multiple treatments per week to live.

"Our hearts go out to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians and their families near and far in the wake of such devastation," said Kent Thiry, Chairman of Kidney Care Partners. "KCP member companies and organizations representing all facets of the kidney care community have quickly and generously responded to this plea."

As an example, Thiry noted, Fresenius Medical Care loaded dialysis equipment and supplies onto the USNS Comfort, a floating medical treatment facility on its way to Haiti; the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) has helped recruit 70 trained clinical volunteers and physicians to assist in providing emergency care on the ground; Amgen has donated $2 million toward relief efforts; and Baxter Healthcare has donated $1 million.

Not only has the quake disrupted the administration of dialysis treatments for Haitians with kidney failure, there are also an unknown number of injured quake victims who have lost kidney function due to their injuries who now need emergency dialysis care.  For those without kidney function, a dialysis machine serves as the body's cleansing function.  This critical process involves specialized equipment to circulate and cleanse the blood as well as on-site medical personnel to administer the treatment.  If only a few treatments are missed, people with kidney failure can die.

KCP members are working collaboratively through the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) coalition, federal authorities and emergency response teams to:

  •  Provide dialysis equipment, medication and other medical supplies necessary for administering dialysis;
  •  Provide nurses and physicians on location to provide dialysis to those in need;
  •  Identify alternate dialysis locations for those displaced from damaged dialysis centers and hospitals;
  •  Spread the word about the availability and location of emergency dialysis care;
  •  Arrange transportation to emergency dialysis facilities within Haiti as well as in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Florida and Puerto Rico for patients and clinicians; and,
  • Assist established dialysis centers in neighboring countries to care for any influx of Haitian refugees in need of treatment.

"Because dialysis treatments are essential to a patient's survival, our community's efforts hopefully will make a difference for the citizens of Haiti suffering from kidney failure in the wake of this tragedy," added Thiry. "The response of our community to the disaster in Haiti is both moving and inspiring."

SOURCE Kidney Care Partners


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SOURCE Kidney Care Partners
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