Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources

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AKF Ambassador recounts the stress of receiving a transplant during COVID-19

Posted on: February 5, 2021

AKF Ambassador Nichole received the call letting her know a kidney was available for her right in the middle of the first wave of COVID-19. She reflected on the stress and anxiety she felt receiving a transplant during the pandemic in our latest blog post.


COVID-19 Vaccine and Kidney Disease: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: December 23, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently gave emergency permission for two vaccines to prevent COVID-19. More vaccines are likely to be approved over the coming months. Here are answers to some common questions people who have kidney disease or for those living with a kidney transplant may have about the COVID-19 vaccine.


National Geographic spotlights the effect of COVID-19 on kidney patients

Posted on: October 30, 2020

Few need COVID-19 surges to end quite like the 37 million Americans who live with chronic kidney disease.


To address health disparities, we need accurate and comprehensive demographic data

Posted on: October 2, 2020

Throughout the pandemic, there have been significant gaps and inconsistencies in data showing COVID-19's impact on minorities. This data is essential in responding to a public health emergency, which is why we are advocating for better data.


Health insurance options during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on: August 25, 2020

Health coverage is a necessity for people with kidney disease, but COVID-19 layoffs and cuts to salaries and working hours mean millions of Americans no longer qualify for their employers’ health insurance benefit.


Navigating COVID-19 reopenings as a dialysis patient

Posted on: August 20, 2020

As some parts of the country are loosening COVID-19 shutdown restrictions, you may be wondering how to stay safe and healthy while also having a connection to the outside world. Katie Pickard, a Satellite Health social worker, shared some reopening advice on our blog.


11 things you can do to get ready for a kidney transplant during COVID-19

Posted on: July 23, 2020

Download a guide to help you prepare for a kidney transplant during COVID-19. This guide has been prepared by the End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC). Click here to download an English or Spanish version of the guide.


Kidney bills in state legislatures amid a pandemic

Posted on: June 30, 2020

Many of the hundreds of bills introduced in state legislatures across the country in early 2020 have come to a screeching halt because of COVID-19. It's not all bad news for kidney patients and living donors awaiting new legislation, though!


Coronavirus reopening guidance for kidney patients

Posted on: June 30, 2020

Communities across the United States are starting to reopen after following stay-at-home orders to limit the spread of coronavirus. People living with kidney disease and transplant recipients are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Even if there is not a rise in COVID-19 cases or deaths where you live, it is still important you take steps to keep yourself and others safe. Download our checklist to help you get started. Click here to download a Spanish version of this guide.


COVID-19 sharpens the focus on racism and racial disparities in health

Posted on: June 25, 2020

Americans of color are in the midst of a perfect storm. Not the good kind of perfect, but the terrible, most awful kind of perfect: bad things colliding and combining into something far bigger and far worse than the sum of its parts.


Tracking The Pandemic (NPR)

Posted on: June 23, 2020

Find out if COVID-19 cases are falling or rising in your state with this daily tracker from NPR.


Coronavirus restrictions in each state (NPR)

Posted on: June 23, 2020

Keep track on COVID-19 related restrictions in each state and find out which states are opening with this comprehensive guide from NPR.


COVID-19 and the dialysis supply chain

Posted on: June 4, 2020

It has been extremely challenging at times." Dr. Sagar Nigwekar, a nephrologist and former AKF Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellow, shared how his hospital is handling the increased number of people needing dialysis because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The gift of the storm: Surviving COVID-19 as kidney transplant recipient

Posted on: June 1, 2020

AKF Ambassador Patrick Gee had a kidney transplant in 2017. "Three years and a global pandemic later, my life was on the line because of the immunosuppressive medicines I take to stop my body from rejecting my transplanted kidney."


Congress and the administration should take steps to help secure health coverage

Posted on: May 29, 2020

What can Congress and the Trump administration do during the COVID-19 pandemic to help make sure people who don't have health insurance are able to get covered and those who already do are able to keep it? We've laid out seven steps they can take to make that happen.


Pandemic Advocacy: American Kidney Fund Keeps Patient Issues Front and Center with Policymakers

Posted on: May 22, 2020

Since the nation shut down in March, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) has been engaging with policymakers to ensure that the needs of kidney patients are considered in coronavirus emergency orders and legislation.


Rep. Donald Payne writes to House leadership urging emergency assistance for dialysis patients

Posted on: May 13, 2020

Rep. Donald Payne a dialysis patient himself, wrote to House leadership requesting emergency financial assistance for dialysis patients in the next COVID-19 relief bill.


Your kidney care during COVID-19

Posted on: May 11, 2020

Virtual town hall for patients

Join other patients and experts on kidney disease to ask questions and learn about the latest guidance, so you can protect yourself and your family during this difficult time.

Friday, May 15, 2020
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.


Assistance for Medications

Posted on: May 5, 2020

Medication assistance programs are offered by pharmaceutical companies to help provide free or lower cost medications to people who cannot afford them. To learn what is available, visit PhRMA’s Medicine Assistance Tool (MAT) which is a search engine designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs.


My transplant was postponed due to COVID-19: Advice from our kidney community

Posted on: April 29, 2020

With a wealth of information on social distancing, risk factors and guidelines for health facilities, people have learned how to keep themselves safer and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But for those who have had a kidney transplant postponed because of the pandemic, much is still uncertain.


Avoiding COVID-19 scams

Posted on: April 28, 2020

In addition to taking safety measures to protect your health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's also important to protect your personal information and finances from cybercriminals trying to profit from the crisis. Here are some tips for avoiding COVID-19 scams.


Tips for a kidney-friendly pandemic pantry

Posted on: April 27, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, you’ll want to be efficient and flexible when shopping for groceries. Here are tips for creating a kidney-friendly pandemic pantry that will allow you to stick to the food and fluid recommendations from your doctor and dietitian.


Resources for caregivers during the coronavirus crisis

Posted on: April 21, 2020

With the COVID-19 outbreak straining our public health infrastructure, the role of caregivers has never been more vital. We've put together a list of resources to help caregivers keep themselves and the dialysis patients they care for healthy during the pandemic.


Quarantined in a COVID-19 hot spot: Report from New Orleans

Posted on: April 20, 2020

Dialysis supplies "have been impossible to find," Ryan, an AKF Ambassador and dialysis patient, shared on our blog. He lives in a COVID-19 hot spot and says the lack of supplies and increased everyday expenses "has a stressful and anxiety-producing effect" on him.


Finding work during the COVID-19 crisis

Posted on: April 16, 2020

Remote work is a safe way for kidney patients who are high risk for serious cases of COVID-19 to earn an income while quarantined at home. Check out our latest blog post for a list of resources that can help you find and apply for remote jobs.


Webinar - Kidney Chat: Ask A Nephrologist about COVID-19 – View the recording

Posted on: April 15, 2020

We understand that the past few weeks have been overwhelming and full of unexpected challenges for the kidney community. View the recording of our latest webinar for answers to learn more about how COVID-19 affects kidney patients.


Direct stimulus payments under the CARES Act

Posted on: April 15, 2020

The IRS has started depositing the COVID-19 stimulus checks into people's bank accounts. Whether you've already received yours or are still waiting, check out our blog for information about the stimulus payments to individuals and families.


What to do if you’ve lost your insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on: April 14, 2020

Half of Americans rely on their jobs for health insurance, but what if you've recently lost your job because of the COVID-19 pandemic? It is especially important for patients with chronic disease to have health coverage. Find out how you can get covered on our blog.


Sticking to a healthy lifestyle in quarantine

Posted on: April 13, 2020

Staying active during a pandemic can be challenging for people high risk for COVID-19 because they may not want to risk even just to going outside for a walk. Our latest blog post has ways to get some exercise and improve your overall wellness while you're quarantined.


Coronavirus stimulus checks: What you need to know

Posted on: April 10, 2020

Now that the federal government has passed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, many Americans will receive a stimulus check. According to the legislation, individuals can receive up to $1,200 depending on their income.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Transplant: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on: April 9, 2020

Find answers to your coronavirus (COVID-19) questions related to kidney transplants including kidney donation and transplant center operations.


Dialyzing at home during the pandemic

Posted on: April 9, 2020

Under normal circumstances, home dialysis gives patients the independence to dialyze on their own schedules in the comfort of their homes. Read why one AKF Ambassador is especially grateful for the opportunity to dialyze at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.


COVID-19 myths vs. facts

Posted on: April 7, 2020

Because so little is known about COVID-19, many people have turned to social media and the internet for answers. Unfortunately, a lot of the information out there is not true. Learn how to tell coronavirus myths vs. facts in our latest blog post.


Coping with stress and anxiety during the coronavirus health emergency

Posted on: April 3, 2020

This is a very challenging time, especially for kidney patients who are high risk for COVID-19. If you're struggling with stress and anxiety during this emergency, please know that you are not alone. Here are some tips for improving your mental health during a crisis.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs for kidney patients

Posted on: April 3, 2020

We’ve received a number of questions from patients around safety with COVID-19 and managing kidney disease. We’ve put together some answers on topics like kidney friendly eating, emergency dialysis and safety resources for patients.


Advocating for kidney patients during the COVID-19 emergency

Posted on: April 2, 2020

As lawmakers are passing laws and stimulus packages to help our nation during this crisis, you can help make sure they're working toward policies that protect kidney patients at high risk for COVID-19. Learn how to build a relationship with your lawmakers on our blog.


How COVID-19 is Affecting Transplants

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Here is what we know about how coronavirus is affecting the lives of kidney transplant patients and those awaiting transplant surgeries. Information provided by Mike Spigler, VP of Patient Services and Kidney Disease Education.


Administration expands use of telehealth in Medicare in response to COVID-19 outbreak

Posted on: March 27, 2020

The Trump administration has temporarily waived telehealth restrictions for Medicare, which means more Medicare patients can access certain health care services from their homes during the Covid-19 crisis. Learn what this means for beneficiaries with kidney disease.


Fighting for patients through advocacy

Posted on: March 25, 2020

Read our comment letters related to Covid-19.


Kidney-friendly eating during the coronavirus health emergency

Posted on: March 25, 2020

As we adjust to the new normal of shutdowns during the coronavirus (#COVID19) crisis, many people with kidney disease are wondering how they can safely stick to their food and fluid plans. Our blog has tips for safely ordering groceries and takeout delivery.


Dialysis patients are at high risk during covid-19 outbreak

Posted on: March 24, 2020

Care for the nation’s 500,000 kidney dialysis patients, who routinely undergotreatment while packed together in group settings, is posing an especially difficult problem for physicians and experts planning for the anticipated surge of coronavirus cases. Patients with severe kidney disease, already vulnerable because of their life-threatening illness, are worried that receiving dialysis in large facilities with dozens of other people could expose them to infection.


COVID-19 Q&A: Kidney-friendly Eating

Posted on: March 24, 2020

The American Kidney Fund recognizes that COVID-19 has been overwhelming and unexpected, especially for the kidney community. We would like to take a few moments to address COVID-19 and share some resources and FAQs related to kidney-friendly eating during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Download a patient resource guide

Posted on: March 24, 2020

Download a list of resources for kidney patients affected by the coronavirus.


3 reasons the coronavirus pandemic is affecting kidney transplants

Posted on: March 23, 2020

Some hospitals are making the difficult decision to postpone kidney transplants in light of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. While this news may be devastating to patients, it’s important to understand the medical reasoning behind these decisions. Learn more.


AKF Launches Coronavirus Emergency Fund to Help Low-Income Dialysis and Transplant Patients

Posted on: March 20, 2020

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) has established a Coronavirus Emergency Fund to provide critically needed financial assistance to low-income U.S. dialysis and transplant patients who are facing unexpected expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. AKF has reallocated $300,000 from its existing budget to provide emergency assistance to patients for food, transportation and medications, and the organization is raising additional funds from the public. 100% of all donations will go directly to patients in need, not overhead.


Telework, telehealth and the (temporary) new normal with coronavirus

Posted on: March 19, 2020

With the CDC recommending ever more drastic social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and a Trump Administration executive action expanding telehealth services, many dialysis centers are putting in place telehealth (video medical consultations) and telework (for non-medical staff). These measures make a lot of sense in the current, rapidly changing environment brought about by the health emergency our nation is facing.

  • When social workers and dietitians consult with patients from home, instead of in the clinic, they do not need to use personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves. This helps ensure that clinics do not run out of these critical supplies which are essential for the doctors, nurses and dialysis technicians who work with patients on the floor.
  • This also reduces the potential of exposure to the coronavirus for in-center patients by limiting the number of people they come in contact with at the center.
  • Home dialysis patients may be able to avoid their regular visits at their centers and have a video consultation instead, eliminating the need to travel to the center and limiting potential exposure to the virus.

5 urgent reminders for dialysis patients during coronavirus

Posted on: March 18, 2020

We’ve been talking to nephrologists, transplant surgeons and dialysis clinic personnel to keep up with the unprecedented health crisis our country is facing. Here are five important reminders:

  • You must keep going to treatment.
  • Be in constant communication with your dialysis center.
  • Know the signs of COVID-19 infection and be honest.
  • Try to get a supply of medicines and foods.
  • Follow the CDC recommendations for hygiene and social distancing.

Coronavirus, COVID-19 and kidney patients: what you need to know

Posted on: March 5, 2020

Learn what precautions should be taken against coronavirus if you have kidney disease, are on dialysis or have had a transplant. Here are some quick recommendations from the CDC on steps you can take to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (Sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice while washing your hands—that will ensure you’ve washed them long enough.)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who has respiratory symptoms such as a cough or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel sick or have cold-like or flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough, sore throat, headache or body aches.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw used tissues into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect any objects and surfaces that you touch frequently.

If you are a dialysis patient, your underlying health condition(s) can put you at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Here are some questions you can ask the staff at your center so you can remain informed on precautions you can take to stay healthy:

  • Can I wait in my car instead of in the waiting room?
  • What should I do if I have any flu-like symptoms?
  • Can you provide a mask for me to wear during my treatment?
  • What procedures do you have in place if you suspect a patient at the center may have COVID-19?
  • How will you inform patients of any emergency information?
  • Where will I receive dialysis if I get sick?

View which transplant centers are open or suspended

Posted on:

The National Kidney Registry has put together a list of transplant centers and if they're currently performing transplants or have decided to postpone transplants until a later date.

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