Fund to help low-income dialysis and transplant patients
The AKF Coronavirus Emergency Fund will provide a grant of $250 to any U.S. dialysis or recent kidney transplant patient who applies to AKF and demonstrates financial need.
Dialysis and recently transplanted patients can apply
Dialysis and transplant patients may get more information about applying for AKF emergency grants from their social workers or transplant coordinators. They may also apply on their own behalf by visiting http://gms.kidneyfund.org and filling out a profile in AKF’s grants management system. Patients who are already receiving AKF financial assistance may use their existing AKF grants management system profile to apply.
100% of donations go directly to patients
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.
The health crisis in our country is unprecedented, and vulnerable kidney failure patients are facing enormous risks and challenges. They are losing their jobs. They have had to stop using public transit to get to their treatments, incurring costs they cannot afford. Patients with compromised immune systems need help obtaining groceries and other essentials safely. We need to do everything we can to help.
AKF Opens Emergency FundClick here to learn more
We understand that the past few weeks have been overwhelming and full of unexpected challenges for the kidney community. Register for our free webinar and ask a nephrologist your questions about COVID-19.
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.
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.
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.
Read our comment letters related to Covid-19.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Download a list of resources for kidney patients affected by the coronavirus.
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.
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.
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?
Here are some resources to help you eat healthy during emergencies.
The CDC has put together key considerations for groups that are at high risk for coronavirus, recommendations for health facilities and professionals, and community resources for schools, childcare and travel:
- Interim Additional Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 in Outpatient Hemodialysis Facilities
- Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Precautions for higher risk populations
- Schools and childcare
- Business and employers
- Community and faith-based leaders
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.
A roundup of relevant news and annoucements regarding coronavirus:
- The Milken Institute is currently tracking the development of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 (coronavirus).
- CMS releases elective surgery recommendations for COVID-19 fight
- 'A death sentence': Critically ill patients denied transplants amid coronavirus outbreak
- Trump administration opens up access to telehealth services during coronavirus outbreak
- Dialysis Patient Citizens Education Center, CDC propose ways to safely handle COVID-19