Dialysis Patients Urged to Prepare for Gustav
With Tropical Storm Gustav projected to hit the Gulf Coast as a hurricane next week, Fresenius Medical Care North America, operator of the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, encourages all dialysis patients in the area to begin preparing now for the storm.
Also, with three months left in the hurricane season, Fresenius reminds anyone on dialysis who lives in hurricane-prone areas to be prepared for a storm.
About 26 million people in the United States have kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation, and more than 360,000 of them are on dialysis. These patients represent one of the most vulnerable segments of the population during a natural disaster. They typically need dialysis every two days; when storms disrupt electrical power or make routine travel to treatments impractical, any substantial delay in dialysis care can be life-threatening.
Fresenius Medical Care offers Five Disaster Preparedness Tips for Dialysis Patients:
1. Keep your emergency phone numbers handy.
— Patient Disaster Hotline: 1 (800) 626-1297. During a large disaster, the hotline is activated and staffed by Fresenius Medical Care dialysis service specialists who can answer questions and direct all dialysis patients and their families to the nearest open clinic during an emergency.
2. Carry your up-to-date personal information with you at all times (ID, medication and allergy lists, insurance, emergency contact information, type of dialysis treatment).
3. Talk to your doctor and family about your evacuation plan – what you should do and where you should go if a disaster strikes. Keep track of local weather forecasts.
4. Create a disaster kit with emergency supplies and at least one extra three-day supply of medicines. Many patients find it convenient to keep medicines and medical supplies in an easy-to-carry fanny pack or backpack.
5. Store a three-day supply of food based on your emergency meal plan. Begin this special diet plan as soon as a disaster is predicted or occurs and remain on it until you receive dialysis treatment. Limit fluid intake to two cups per 24 hours and avoid fresh fruit or vegetables.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Fresenius Medical Care North America is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, the world’s largest integrated provider of products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure, a condition that affects more than 1,600,000 individuals worldwide. Through its network of 2,297 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to approximately 177,059 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the world’s leading provider of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME, FME3) and the New York Stock Exchange (FMS, FMS-p).
For more information about Fresenius Medical Care’s U.S. network of more than 1,650 dialysis facilities, visit the Company’s website at www.ultracare-dialysis.com. For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit the Company’s websites: www.fmcna.com or www.fmc-ag.com.
Note to media: With the 2008 hurricane season activity beginning to increase, local staff are available to discuss what Fresenius is doing to ensure its patients are prepared for a storm. Patients are also available for interviews.