This week, we present to you a two-part series on emergencies and contingencies that you may face. The Scouts motto of ‘Be Prepared’ is very apt in these situations, as having the right training, mindset and tools will help you in any kind of emergency situation. When it comes to dialysis, CKD and crises situations, it is a matter of when not if when these situations occur. For example during the recent Chennai floods, dialysis centres were overwhelmed – and although DaVita continued to work through the entire ordeal to help patients, it helps to be prepared nevertheless.
It is very normal to feel anxious and upset when you are involved in a disaster or crisis situation. The dialysis patient may feel the symptoms more intensely than another individual who does not have to plan for life-sustaining treatments daily/weekly.
Know the Emergency Preparedness Plan of your dialysis facility.
- Keep copies of your medical and dialysis history.
- Keep your IDs & Cards close to you
- Write down numbers of your dialysis unit, technician and DaVita’s call centre
- Maintain a week’s supply of your current medications at all times and instructions for use
- Know how to care for your vascular access.
- Maintain emergency supplies.
- Remain at home and listen for public service broadcasts on local radio or TV stations. Your dialysis facility staff will attempt to contact you.
- If you must seek shelter, take your week’s supply of medications, your emergency supplies, personal items, blanket, medical information and your DaVita centre details.
- Know your dietary guidelines for emergency preparedness.
- Maintain dietary supplies.
- It is necessary to restrict fluids even more than before with the fluid specified in your meal plan.
- Chew gum to reduce thirst.
- Avoid table salt and salt substitutes.
- Flavor with herbal seasoning, garlic powder, and lemon juice.
- Keep foods stored in a sturdy box in a closet (away from water or animals).
- Replace bottled water every six months.
- Breads should be stored in your freezer. Crackers and cereals should be stored in a tin or sealed container.
- Store sugar, candies and dry milk in a sealed container to protect from insects.
How to disinfect my water?
Keep purified water on hand for drinking. If you run out of stored water, you can disinfect available water to use for drinking, brushing your teeth, etc. Swimming pool or spa water should not be used as a primary source of drinking water due to its chemical content.
- Strain the water through a clean cloth or handkerchief to remove any sediment, floating matter or glass before starting the disinfection process.
- Use household chlorine bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite solution to disinfect the water. Do not use products that contain active ingredients other than hypochlorite.
Water can also be purified by boiling it rapidly for 15 minutes.