Fresenius Medical Care North America has announced a collaboration with DaVita Inc. and other dialysis providers in response to COVID-19, which aims to support the broader kidney care community in the United States by offering isolation capacity for dialysis patients who are or may be COVID-19 positive.
Dialysis patients represent one of the most at-risk populations, particularly in the current difficult and rapidly evolving situation. To stay alive, they must receive treatment multiple days a week for three to four hours at a time. This presents a unique challenge for patients and their care teams when social distancing is required to reduce the risk of community spread and infection.
In this unprecedented time, Fresenius Medical Care North America is cooperating with DaVita Inc., U.S. Renal Care, American Renal Associates, Satellite Healthcare and other dialysis organizations. Together they are creating a nationwide contingency plan with a goal of helping to maintain continuity of care for dialysis patients by creating isolation cohort capacity that can be accessed by other dialysis providers.
A critical aim of this collaboration is to keep dialysis patients out of the hospital whenever possible, freeing up limited hospital resources. The companies are focused on ensuring there are enough nurses, social workers, dietitians, care technicians and available space to treat all dialysis patients, including those who are or may be infected with COVID-19, in a way that does not unnecessarily expose the hundreds of thousands of other patients who entrust them with their care.
Dialysis organizations have designated capacity in selected clinics across their national networks to create isolation units and shifts, which will treat patients who are or may be COVID-19 positive separately. This collaboration will help safeguard caregivers, conserve personal protective equipment and other important supplies, and create an environment that provides excess capacity for providers that may be overwhelmed by larger COVID-19 clusters.