The National Kidney Foundation issued a statement today urging patients on dialysis to continue undergoing treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is extremely important for kidney patients to continue with their regularly scheduled dialysis treatments and take extra precautions when visiting the facilities to best protect their health,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer for NKF. “Skipping dialysis can lead to serious adverse effects and increases the risk for hospitalization. Using social distancing, washing hands as much as possible, staying away from those who are clearly sick, and streamlining travel routes as much as possible from home to the dialysis clinic can all help reduce the risk of contracting the virus.”

All patients with kidney disease, including kidney transplant recipients and those who dialyze at home, should partner with their healthcare teams to postpone routine face-to-face medical and dental visits, substituting video or telemedicine visits whenever feasible, Dr Vassalotti added. In addition, dialysis patients should closely follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC). NKF also urges all patients with kidney disease to be prepared with the necessary supplies at home should an outbreak occur in their community.