ROCKVILLE, Md. (Jan. 28, 2022) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) is deeply concerned about reported dialysis supply and staffing shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic that have resulted in reduced dialysis treatments for some patients with kidney failure. AKF is gathering data on the scope of this issue and is encouraging patients who have been affected by these shortages to contact AKF to share their experiences.
The COVID-19 pandemic already has caused significant challenges for millions of Americans living with kidney disease. In areas around the country, supply and delivery delays are now reportedly causing patients to have their treatment times shortened, in some cases without notice. Staffing shortages during the surge of cases across the country are also purportedly causing treatment access issues. AKF calls on federal and state government agencies to take immediate steps to mitigate this urgent problem to ensure that people with kidney failure are not subjected to changes to their life-sustaining treatments.
Nearly 500,000 Americans rely on in-center dialysis treatments, which are typically performed three times a week for up to four hours at a time. Missing just one dialysis treatment could cause serious side effects for patients, including death. During the first year of the pandemic, deaths among dialysis patients increased 20% compared to the year before. Shortages due to the pandemic have the potential to further harm this already extremely vulnerable patient population.
Dialysis supply chain issues are also a matter of health equity, a longstanding priority of AKF's. People of color are more likely to dialyze in-center than white Americans, leaving them more vulnerable to shortage issues impacting dialysis facilities.
Patients who have experienced issues accessing dialysis treatments due to shortages at their clinic can and connect with AKF at . AKF will facilitate conversations with officials based on the data collected to help resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.