ASN, AAKP, AKF, ANNA, CDC, NANT, NKF, RPA, and the Renal Healthcare Association (formerly the NRAA) are collaborating to sponsor a January 7, 2021 webinar on Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dialysis Population. Webinar topics will include available information about the safety and efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers and patients with CKD, the risk of poor outcomes in those contracting COVID-19, the position of the sponsors on urging dialysis patients to get vaccinated, possible concerns about receiving the vaccine, approaches to discussing and defusing those concerns, and a strategy to share the provided information widely. Find more information and register at https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1416384&tp_key=2914871054.
Washington State DOH will host a December 17, 2020 COVID-19 Vaccine SafetyWebinar for health care providers. It will cover COVID-19 epidemiology, COVID vaccines, vaccine testing and approval, vaccine adverse events, and other safety resources. Continuing education credit is available for nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists and physicians. Find more information and register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8511091222749618187.
MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has published a post on Combating Implicit Bias in Home Dialysis, summarizing research and tools on implicit bias, and how we might become more aware of our own implicit bias, which we all have. From the post:
“Our human tendency is to treat people outside of our own in-group(s) as ‘other,’ and therein lie our interpersonal and intergroup challenges. In the early days of humans, ‘others’ may well have been rivals for food or territory, but today many of us live close together in enormous population clusters. Some of our most urgent existential threats are only likely to be successfully addressed by collaboration, not competition. We need to learn new ways to work together, perhaps even to survive as a species. And, in healthcare particularly, we need to rid ourselves of biases that could harm patients.”
The Medical Education Institute’s Home Dialysis Central has added a video to its What Is Dialysis web page at https://homedialysis.org/home-dialysis-basics/what-is-dialysis. The video explains why removing too much fluid during dialysis, or removing it too quickly, can cause headaches, painful cramping, “washed out” feelings, and damage to the heart, brain, or kidneys, which can be cumulative and permanent, and may prevent future transplantation.
CDC has published (non-COVID-19) flu vaccine recommendations for the 2020-2021 season. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illness, like flu, this fall and winter is more important than ever. Find the 2020-2021 recommendations at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/summary/summary-recommendations.htm. Also available in Spanish and eight other languages.*
Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season and additional flu shots if medically necessary. Flu shots are free for Medicare patients. Pneumonia and flu shots can be given during the same office visit; find recommended schedules at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html.
CDC, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommend that all U.S. health care workers get annual flu shots.
* To find the non-English versions, go to the links above, then click on “Español” or “Other Languages” – these links are either in the upper right corner of the page, or between the title and the text of the document.
CDC has launched a new web page on Natural Disasters, Severe Weather, and COVID-19, to provide information on how people can stay safe during and after natural disasters during the COVID-19 response. The page and a few of its useful links follow:
Pack Your Go Kit: If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, bar or liquid soap, disinfectant wipes (if available), and two masks for each person. Masks should not be used by children under the age of 2. They also should not be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Keep Your Distance: When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
The supplement the September 16, 2020 NCC COVID-19 webinar on Living in a Multi-Generational Household, NCC has produced one-page tip sheets in English and Spanish on Staying Safe in Multigenerational Households (Cómo mantenerse seguro en un hogar mul generacional). Find more details and register for the webinar at https://esrdncc.org/en/events/2020/september-2020/covid09162020/?date=9/1/2020. Find the tip sheets below:
The ESRD National Coordinating Center has published a new 17-page booklet called The COVID-19 Mental Health Toolkit: Helping Renal Professionals Support the Well-Being of the ESRD Community. It was developed by Network professionals and patient volunteers to serve as a guide for renal healthcare staff to help patients manage their well-being, and includes sections on taking action, increasing awareness, building community capacity, incorporating telemedicine, and getting ahead of the issues. Find a copy at https://esrdncc.org/contentassets/abe8671eadac49c691c0f40eef52ef18/covid19mhtoolkit07312020508.pdf.
Now that high summer and higher temperatures have arrived, Harmful Algae Blooms (“HABs”) are an increasing threat to recreational and subsistence uses of bodies of fresh- and salt-water. HABs can impact, sometimes fatally, harvesting of water- and shoreline-dwelling animals and plants, drinking, swimming, wading, and boating. Pets and children are particularly vulnerable because they can rush into water before you even realize they’re out of the car. The Oregon Health Authority advises,
Bear in mind that most waters are not monitored for toxicity, so the lack of a warning sign is not enough to assure safe use. The following websites provide information on identifying and responding to toxic waters and their impacts, and include alerts on the few, most popular, waters that are monitored and posted:
The Washington website is also available in Spanish, Somali, and Viet. As an example of a posted warning, Odell Lake near Willamette Pass, between Eugene and Klamath Falls OR, has recently been posted; see the Oregon website above.