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.
- Are there any resources or information about COVID-19 specifically for people with kidney disease?
- Am I at a higher risk for catching COVID-19 if I have kidney disease?
- How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
- What kidney-friendly foods can I stock up on?
- Is food delivery safe?
- What should I do if I feel sick?
- Are dialysis clinics open and should I be going to treatments?
- How can I get emergency dialysis?
- What can I do if COVID-19 is giving me anxiety and this sudden change in daily routine is causing depression?
Are there any resources or information about COVID-19 specifically for people with kidney disease?
Yes! The listed organizations, along with countless others, are working hard to provide updates and resources on COVID-19. Be sure to check each organization’s website regularly as new information and resources become available.
- American Kidney Fund (AKF): www.kidneyfund.org/coronavirus
- Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Coalition: www.kcercoalition.com/covid-19
- DaVita: www.davita.com/covid-19-information
- American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP): www.aakp.org
Am I at a higher risk for catching COVID-19 if I have kidney disease?
The CDC has identified the following groups more at risk for COVID-19:
- Older adults
- any person with the following medical conditions
- people with diabetes
- people with heart disease
- People with HIV or weakened immune system
- people with asthma
- people with chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis
- pregnant women
If you have a kidney transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine, you may also be at a higher risk. Take the recommended CDC steps to reduce your risk of catching COVID-19.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The CDC recommends everyone take the following steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds
- do not touch your face, nose, and eyes
- stay home and avoid crowds
- keep distance between yourself and other people, at least 6 feet
- clean and disinfect things that your or others touch often (door knobs, toilet, steering wheel, phone case)
What kidney-friendly foods can I stock up on?
- Visit KCER for tips and shopping list for a 3-day emergency diet.
- Visit Kidney Kitchen for a shopping list of food items to stock in your fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Is food delivery safe?
Cooking at home is the best option. There are many services that can deliver groceries to your home.
However, if you do have to order out, here are some tips for choosing healthy items when ordering food delivery or takeout.
What should I do if I feel sick?
If you are feeling sick, tell your healthcare team immediately.
Are dialysis clinics open and should I be going to treatments?
YES! Dialysis clinics are still open and operating and you should NOT miss treatment. Your immune system is stronger when your blood is clean.
Dialysis clinics are already taking extra steps for your safety. If there are changes in your clinic’s hours or to your dialysis schedule, your dialysis team from your clinic will contact you. If you are not sure about schedules, procedures, or simply have questions, call your clinic.
How can I get emergency dialysis?
Call your dialysis center. They will either find a way to fit you into their schedule or refer you to another nearby dialysis center.
What can I do if COVID-19 is giving me anxiety and this sudden change in daily routine is causing depression?
If you are on dialysis and have a social worker, talk to your social worker! They are trained to help you navigate your emotions. If you do not have a social worker, call your insurance provider to see if mental health counseling is covered in your benefits and if telehealth is an option for you.
Some additional tips to reduce anxiety and depression include:
- Mindful thinking: “Attention to thoughts and feelings without judging whether they are right or wrong; paying attention to the present state, not the past.”
- Breathing exercises
- Physical exercise
- Limit or cut caffeine
- Practice best sleep hygiene
To learn more about taking care of your mental wellbeing, watch the following webinars: