- Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Disease Stages
- What Is a Nephrologist?
- What to Expect with CKD
- Kidney Disease Management
- Understanding Acute Kidney Injury
- How Kidneys Work
- Take a FREE CLASS on Kidney Disease
Dialysis Family Care Partners and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
How to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19
COVID-19 is primarily spread through close contact with other people. As a care partner, you’ll likely need to be in close contact with your loved one while assisting with their treatment, helping with medications, or providing other care. Along with the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing and good hygiene, there are additional health precautions you can take to limit the spread of the virus:
- Wash your hands often for at least 40–60 seconds.
- Limit your contact or shared spaces, when possible.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Use the proper safety gear—mask and gloves—to limit exposure while administering treatment or handling fluids.
- Clean and disinfect highly touched surfaces.
- Watch out for symptoms.
How to keep family members safe during COVID-19
The best way to keep your family members safe during COVID-19 is to make it easier for them to stay home and stay healthy. This means your loved one should not miss any dialysis treatments and should continue taking his or her medications as prescribed. When caring for someone with kidney disease during COVID-19, here are a few ways you can help:
- Help with basic needs like groceries and housework.
- Refill regular prescriptions.
- Follow doctors’ care instructions.
- Take loved ones to dialysis treatments and care team appointments.
- Stock the house with kidney-friendly food, medication, and supplies to last 2–4 weeks.
- Monitor your loved one’s health.
If you or someone in your home shows any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling unwell, call their care team immediately for instructions and assistance. We’re here to help.
Identifying COVID-19 symptoms
Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and since people living with kidney disease are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, it’s important for care partners to know the common warning signs to look out for:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever at or above 100.0° F
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Serious cases of COVID-19 may be accompanied by more severe symptoms, such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
Call your loved one’s care team if you notice or experience any of these warning signs. Do not come into the center unless instructed by a care team member in order to prevent spreading or contracting the virus.
Following the recommended safety guidelines, preparing your loved ones for treatment during COVID-19, and looking after your own health are essential steps family care partners should take during these uncertain times. At Fresenius Kidney Care, we want you to know that you are not alone, and your care team is here to help. If you have any questions, please reach out for support.