9/30 NKF/CDC Webinar on Influenza & COVID-19

NKF and CDC will co-host a free September 30, 2020 webinar on Protecting Yourself and Your Patients: Preventing Influenza in the COVID-19 Era, focused on taking the steps to prevent influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Influenza can be associated with serious illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths, especially in people with certain chronic medical conditions, such as those with CKD at any stage, including patients on dialysis and transplant recipients.  This webinar will provide an overview of the implications of influenza vaccinations among healthcare professionals caring for kidney patients.  Also, strategies for encouraging influenza vaccination among patients and others will be discussed.  The webinar offers 0.50 CME credit.  Find full details and register at https://education.kidney.org/content/webinar-protecting-yourself-and-your-patients-preventing-influenza-covid-19-era.

2020 Flu Season

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.

Find More Information at:

* 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 Evacuation Advice

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:

Understand that your planning and preparation may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Give Yourself Time: Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies.  Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies, but it may not be an option for everyone.  If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and other’s health when running essential errands.

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.

Read more about COVID-19 specific key disaster messages in Hurricane Key Messages: COVID-19 Annex (Spanish), in addition to the Preparedness and Safety Messaging for Hurricanes, Flooding, and Similar Disasters (Spanish).

9/9 COVID-19 Dialysis Facility Call Correction

The time for the September 9, 2020 CMS Dialysis Facility COVID-19 Call was incorrect in our recent post on 9/8+ September CMS COVID-19 Calls.  The correct time is 2:30-3:00 pm PDT.  The correct September 9 entry is:

We’ve also corrected the time in the original post (https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2020/09/02/9-8-september-cms-covid-19-calls/).

9/8+ September CMS COVID-19 Calls

CMS has announced the following September COVID-19 calls:

Find more information and further schedules at https://www.cms.gov/outreach-education/partner-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-partner-toolkit.

Wildfire Smoke and COVID-19

A recent CDC announcement comments on wildfire smoke:

“Wildfire smoke can irritate your lungs, cause inflammation, affect your immune system, and make you more prone to lung infections, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cause COVID-19.  Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing for wildfires might be a little different this year.  Know how wildfire smoke can affect you and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic and what you can do to protect yourselves.”

The rest of the announcement details what you can do about it.  Find it at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/covid-19/wildfire_smoke_covid-19.html.

8/20+ Webinar on Emotional Balance

Quality Insights (ESRD Network 5), the Coalition for Supportive Care of Kidney Patients, and the Medical Technology & Practice Patterns Institute will present a free August 20, 2020 webinar, repeating it August 26, on Maintaining Emotional Balance in an Unbalancing Time.  The webinar will discuss how providers can respond to dialysis patients and their families when they encounter hard questions and emotional distress about COVID-19, including strategies for responding to anxiety and fear, the dialysis facility as a source of stability, and ways to honor the memory of patients who have passed.  Free CE credits will be available.  Register for the August 20 session at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSCKP8202020 or the August 26 session at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSCKP08262020.  See below for details:

COVID-19 Compassion Fatigue Webinar Recording

The June 22, 2020 IPRO Quality Innovation Network (ESRD Networks 1,2,6,9) webinar on COVID-19 and Compassion Fatigue (see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/category/facility-staff/burn-out/) was recorded, and is now available.  Find a recording of the webinar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAR5M1_HZ_U, and a PDF of the slides at https://network2.esrd.ipro.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2020/06/COVID-19-and-Compassion-Fatigue.pdf.

8/11 NCC Webinar on COVID-19 Work Safety

The ESRD National Coordinating Center will host a webinar at 1pm PDT August 11, 2020 on Health and Safety at Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic, presented by Comagine ESRD Network Patient Safety Director Lisa Hall and two patient Subject Matter Experts.  The webinar will provide workplace health and safety tips, review rehabilitation and employment services for people with kidney disease, and share kidney patients’ work experiences during the pandemic.  Find more details and register at https://esrdncc.org/covid-19/covid-webinars/.