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Kidney Patients’ Guide to coronavirus

As government agencies continue to plan for the coronavirus, it is important for older adults and those with chronic health conditions to take additional precautions. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and can be spread through the air and live on surfaces. While this is true for other common illnesses like the flu, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published recommendations to specifically help those with a higher risk of illness.

In order to minimize your contact with coronavirus, make sure to implement healthy habits and take precautions. The CDC recommends patients and their families do the following:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. If you are in an area without soap and water, use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol.

  • Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve. Be sure to properly dispose of the tissues and wash your hands.

  • Clean commonly used objects and surfaces, such as door handles, faucets and countertops with disinfectant wipes or spray, as the virus can remain alive for over a week.

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick. Talk to your employer about your company’s workplace policy and remember to error on the side of caution, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Avoid touching your face. Even if your hands do not appear dirty, pathogens can spread easily through your nose and mouth.

Additional precautions are suggested for kidney patients and higher risk groups.

  • Make sure your kitchen and medicine cabinets are properly stocked. This may include extra medications in case you need to stay home for an extended period of time, and kidney friendly foods. If this is not possible, consider mail-delivery services.

  • Create a plan with your support system to ensure continued care if you or your caregiver become sick.

  • Monitor any symptoms you develop per the CDC guidelines.

While these steps are essential in caring for yourself, remember that it is not safe to miss a dialysis treatment. If you have questions regarding your care, it is always best to ask your healthcare provider. Here are some reminders:

  • If you are feeling sick, contact a member of your health care team and inform staff upon your arrival.

  • Call ahead to report fever or respiratory symptoms. This will allow the clinic to prepare for your treatment and keep everyone safe.

  • If you are experiencing these symptoms, your doctor may advise that you wear a facemask during your visit.

  • Consult your health care provider for additional preventative measures.

  • For up-to-date information about clinic closures, visit

Being informed is the best way to keep yourself and those around you safe. Here are a couple questions to ask staff at your dialysis clinic.

  • What are the policies in place to help reduce the spread of a contagious illness like COVID-19?

  • If there is an outbreak in the clinic what are the emergency plans?

While following these guidelines is essential to keeping yourself healthy it is imperative that everyone practices healthy habits as well. Share these tips with friends and family members!


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