DENVER, Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In areas impacted by Hurricane Michael, DaVita Kidney Care dialysis clinics have opened their doors to anyone needing treatment. Open clinics will accept all patients regardless of where that patient normally receives treatment. DaVita Kidney Care is a division of DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), a leading provider in kidney care services.
"Uninterrupted access to care is critical for dialysis patients, so we are prepared to support anyone in need, whether you typically treat with one of DaVita's coastal clinics or even with another dialysis provider," said Jeffrey Giullian, MD, MBA, vice president of medical affairs at DaVita.
DaVita activated its emergency response plan in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia in the days leading up to Hurricane Michael. In preparation for Michael, DaVita deployed water tankers, fuel tankers, generators, additional supplies and medication to help ensure that centers can begin treating patients in impacted locales as soon as possible.
"Over the next 24 hours, our focus is accounting for our patients and teammates, assessing centers in impacted areas and identifying safe shelters," continued Dr. Giullian.
DaVita's national emergency management team will direct and support centers in affected areas and route patients to locations which can safely provide dialysis care. DaVita proactively dialyzed thousands of patients in approximately 200 centers.
DaVita's 2,600 local teammates have been providing patients with relevant medical information (prescription, dietary instructions and fluid restrictions) should they need to dialyze at a different center. DaVita has been communicating evacuation information with patients and coordinating with other dialysis and health care providers, including hospitals, to help ensure continuity of care for all patients. DaVita will help track where patients will be transferred and hold regularly scheduled check-ins with local teams to help coordinate the safety of those who are impacted.
In the coming days, patients and their family members can visit blogs.davita.com/emergency-management for information on center openings during this emergency. Dialysis patients may call DaVita Guest Services at 1-800-400-8331 for help locating dialysis centers and scheduling treatment. If in need of urgent medical care, dial 9-1-1.
DaVita Urges Dialysis Patients to Heed Boil Water Advisories DaVita is urging dialysis patients to adhere to boil water advisories in their areas. Currently, municipalities across multiple states impacted by Hurricane Michael are under boil water advisories due to flooding.
"Clean water is critical for dialysis patients whose immune systems are vulnerable to infection," said Dr. Giullian. "In areas under boil water advisories, taking precautions with everyday tasks like bathing, washing hands, and cooking is imperative for the safety of those on dialysis."
Public health advisories related to the safety of boiled water have been issued stating the potential harm to dialysis patients of using non-boiled water. During a Boil Water Advisory, dialysis patients should avoid any contact with non-boiled water due to the elevated infection risk.
DaVita urges dialysis patients to be aware of and follow these advisories. Dialysis patients with either a central venous or peritoneal dialysis catheter or other types of vascular access should use boiled water for bathing or general hygiene. It is unsafe for any individual with a dialysis catheter, whether on in-center hemodialysis, home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, to bathe in water or clean the dialysis access with non-boiled water when there is a Boil Water Advisory in effect. Doing so puts those patients at significant risk of infection, hospitalizations and even death.
It is recommended that patients check with their local dialysis team and clinical professionals prior to exposing any dialysis-related access to municipal water when under a Boil Water Advisory.
Emergency Preparedness for People with Kidney Disease Kidney patients on dialysis should add several items to their emergency kit that will help meet their needs if an emergency happens. The kit should include the following:
About DaVita Kidney Care DaVita Kidney Care is a division of DaVita Inc., a Fortune 500® company, that through its operating divisions provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and abroad. A leading provider of dialysis services in the United States, DaVita Kidney Care treats patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita Kidney Care strives to improve patients' quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of June 30, 2018, DaVita Kidney Care operated or provided administrative services at 2,580 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 201,000 patients. The company also operated 253 outpatient dialysis centers located in 10 countries outside the United States. DaVita Kidney Care supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company's leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com.