American Kidney Fund Urges Dialysis Patients in Hurricane Florence’s Path to Prepare for Emergency, Disruptions to Treatment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 11, 2018) – As Hurricane Florence intensifies and heads toward the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic, one particular group is at great risk: people who depend on dialysis for survival.
A hurricane like Florence can inflict massive flooding, bridge and road washouts, and long power outages far from the coast. Any of these conditions can have a potentially life-threatening effect on dialysis patients, who require regular treatment, take numerous medications daily and follow careful diets customized for people with kidney failure.
“This is the time for dialysis patients to do all they can to ensure they are in a safe location, have their medications and food on-hand, and can get to a clinic for treatment,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund (AKF).
AKF’s natural disaster resource page for dialysis patients and renal professionals can be found at KidneyFund.org/disaster-prep. In addition to emergency phone numbers and state and municipal resources, it contains information about the 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan for dialysis patients. By following this plan, patients can help reduce waste buildup in their bodies in case they have to miss or delay their dialysis treatment.
“We’ve consolidated helpful information into a single location on our website that can help patients in the affected areas find open clinics, emergency shelters and information on how to stay as healthy as possible in the event a treatment is missed,” said Burton.
AKF has activated its Disaster Relief Program for patients affected by Florence. AKF’s program is the nation’s only rapid-response system that provides emergency charitable financial assistance to dialysis patients when disaster strikes their communities. Disaster relief grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster.
AKF’s Disaster Relief Program is funded through donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Relypsa, Inc. and Akebia Therapeutics have already provided grants to AKF earmarked for disaster relief. 100 percent of all contributions go directly to the Disaster Relief program.
“Dialysis patients may find themselves in an especially precarious situation after a natural disaster, unable to eat the food provided at shelters, needing to replace lost prescription medications and needing to find transportation to alternative dialysis clinics that are still open,” Burton said. “These costs add up quickly for patients. We—and the patients we help—are extremely grateful to all who donate to our Disaster Relief Program.”
Any dialysis patient affected by Hurricane Florence who needs an AKF emergency grant should contact a social worker at their dialysis center for information on applying, or call AKF directly at 800.795.3226.
Anyone who would like to help dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Florence or other natural disasters can make a contribution to AKF’s Disaster Relief Program.
Last year, as back-to-back hurricanes struck the mainland United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AKF provided nearly $850,000 in disaster relief grants to more than 3,800 dialysis patients affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. A generous outpouring of support from individuals, foundations and corporations ensured that AKF could provide a grant to every dialysis patient who applied.
About the American Kidney Fund
As the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.