CDC has released a new HAN Health Alert Advisory on Severe Illness Associated with Using Non-Pharmaceutical Chloroquine Phosphate to Prevent and Treat COVID-19. The Summary includes “Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences, including death. Clinicians and public health officials should discourage the public from misusing non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate (a chemical used in home aquariums). Clinicians should advise patients and the public that chloroquine, and the related compound hydroxychloroquine, should be used only under the supervision of a healthcare provider as prescribed medications.” Find the CDC HAN at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2020/han00431.asp?deliveryName=USCDC_511-DM24285.
AAKP is asking dialysis patients to take a survey on their experience with and concerns about COVID-19. AAKP’s introduction follows:
“AAKP works closely and constructively with Federal and state officials on health issues of concern to both the general public and those who are immunocompromised – like kidney patients. As we have in the past with flu and vaccines, we are interested in relaying your insights about the Coronavirus to relevant officials so that their actions and communications are better informed and responsive to your concerns. As a dialysis patient, has the Coronavirus impacted your thinking or behavior? What communication, if any, have you, as a dialysis patient, received with your healthcare team and/or dialysis facility? TAKE A FEW MINUTES, TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS! AAKP will share insights gleaned from you with the brave medical and scientific professionals fighting the Coronavirus! … Answers and any comments provided will not be attributed to any individual – the FLASH SURVEY is completely anonymous.”
Find the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DialysisandCoronavirus. They do not indicate how long the survey will be available.
NBC News has published an article on Coronavirus testing: Information on COVID-19 tests according to state health departments. The article includes:
- Alaska: “For information about coronavirus in Alaska, check the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services’ coronavirus website [at http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/general.aspx].”
- California: “Call your health care provider or local public health department [see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/LocalHealthServicesAndOffices.aspx] to be evaluated for testing if you are symptomatic, may have had contact with a person with coronavirus, or recently traveled to countries that have community spread. As of March 13, [2020,] California had 18 public health labs [see https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19_CA_Map_03.11.20.png] testing for coronavirus, with three more expected to be offering tests by next week. There are some private labs testing as well, though the state is not tracking their testing data. For a patient to be tested by a public health lab, their provider must contact the local public health department for approval and instructions. Most test results are available within 48 to 72 hours. The state has requested all labs notify the Department of Public Health about positive results. For more coronavirus information, visit the California Department of Public Health’s webpage [at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx].”
- Idaho: “Call your health care provider if you believe you need to be tested. Any provider can request a test from the state, as long as they meet CDC infection control requirements for collection. However, not all providers in the state are set up to meet those requirements, according to the Department of Health. Test results are usually available 24 hours after they are sent to the state lab. There are four private labs conducting tests in the state that may have different response times. For more information, call 2-1-1 or your local public health district [see https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/contact/], or visit Idaho’s coronavirus website [at https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/].”
- Montana: “Call your health care provider to discuss whether you are a candidate for testing before appearing in person. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can call a community health center or urgent care clinic about getting tested. Providers are testing according to CDC guidance [see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html], with a focus on people exhibiting symptoms that could indicate COVID-19. Providers do not need department approval to administer a test, but the department consults on cases as necessary. Test results from the state public health lab are typically returned daily. For more coronavirus information, visit the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services website [at https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt] or contact your county or tribal health department [see https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/FCSS/countytribalhealthdepts].”
- Oregon: “For information about coronavirus in Oregon, check the Oregon Health Authority’s website [at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx].”
- Washington: “Call your health care provider to discuss whether you should be evaluated in person and considered for testing. Currently, there are no restrictions on who can be tested, however, it’s up to the provider to decide. Sample collection is done at the provider’s office. Samples are then sent to facilities such as the Washington State Public Health Lab or the University of Washington Virology Lab for analysis. Results are generally available within 24 to 48 hours. Turnaround time can be affected by demand. For more information, read the Washington State Department of Health’s medium article on testing [at https://medium.com/wadepthealth/covid-19-testing-process-what-you-need-to-know-ad741ed1a806] or visit the department’s coronavirus website [at https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus].”
Dialysis Patient Citizens has published a recording of their March 13, 2020 webinar on What the COVID-19 Means for Kidney Patients. The webinar goes into far more useful detail than most of the available material on the subject. Find the recording at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWXHlHp7wqs. The first four minutes are unintelligible, but after that the sound quality is a little muddy but understandable, so it’s very worthwhile to persevere. As usual, ignore the beeping hospital-room-monitor alarm.
Networks 16 and 18 have assembled a web page on Healthcare Workers – Coping with Infectious Disease Outbreaks in the Dialysis Setting. In addition to guidance for maintaining your own health in situations of extreme stress, it includes links to the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (in English, Spanish, and 14 other languages) and their document on Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation during an Infectious Disease Outbreak. Find the Network web page at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/wp-content/uploads/20200313-Coping-with-ID-Outbreaks.pdf. While it’s aimed at facility staff, patients will also find it useful for managing their own stress.
In honor of National Kidney Month, AAKP Healthline will present a March 24, 2020 webinar on AAKP Ambassadors: Thriving with Kidney Disease and Inspiring Others. The program will feature current AAKP Ambassadors discussing “What I know now that I wish I knew when first diagnosed,” “Why it is important to be your own best advocate, and “How I am making a difference through AAKP.” For details and registration see https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/aakp-healthline/.
The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California will present a Mach 25, 2020 webinar on No One Should Die Alone on the Street, which will provide one CEU for nurses and social workers. Find details and register at https://mailchi.mp/coalitionccc.org/no-one-should-die-alone-on-the-street.