March is National Kidney Month, and March 11, 2021 is World Kidney Day. The theme for this year’s World Kidney Day is Living Well with Kidney Disease, aimed toward increasing education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging life participation. Find our more at https://www.worldkidneyday.org/2021-campaign/. This year’s National Kidney Month is focused around taking charge of your health and the many factors that go into managing your kidney disease. Find out more about National Kidney Month at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-kidney-month.
Many concerns loom over traveling and congregating for holiday events and celebrations while the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding rapidly – for some Network states, peak numbers of daily confirmed new cases are running several times higher than they were in the summer.* AAKP will present a free November 17, 2020 webinar on COVID-19: Kidney Patient Planning for a Safe Holiday Season. The webinar will cover what high risk, immune compromised individuals – such as kidney patients – can do to remain safe while still being able to enjoy the holidays. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6197870490714912781. Find more information about AAKP HealthLine, and recordings of previous webinars, at https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/aakp-healthline/.
Dialysis Patient Citizens will present a September 24, 2020 Spanish-language webinar on Manejando Mi Glucosa En Sangre Cuando Tengo Enfermedad Renal (Managing My Blood Glucose When I Have Kidney Disease), covering carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose, how much carbs to eat, and how to avoid high and low blood glucose extremes. Find more information below, and register for this and future DPC webinars at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/.
Upcoming DPC webinars include:
- Things to Know About Medicare Advantage’s First Open Enrollment for Dialysis Patients – October 22, 2020,
- Looking Out for the Caregiver: Understanding the People Who Care for Dialysis Patients – November 19, 2020,
- Coping with the Holidays – December 17, 2020.
A number of organizations are hosting weekly webinars on COVID-19. These include:
- ESRD NCC half-hour “Quickinars” for providers and patients. Find more information, recordings of past Quickinars, and register for current presentations at https://esrdncc.org/quickinars:
- Tuesday May 26, 2020 patient Quickinar on Combating Uncertainty and Fear in the COVID-19 Era (En Español), presented by a PD patient, Network Ambassador, and patient and family engagement SME. She will share how Spanish-speaking patients are coping with fears surrounding COVID-19, and Provide links to COVID-19 information in Spanish.
- Wednesday May 27, 2020 provider Quickinar on COVID-19 Communication – Quick Tips to Connect, presented by the Director of Outreach and Development for the non-profit Academy of Communication in Healthcare, Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Patient Experience, and Assistant Clinical Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
- Coalition for Supportive Care of Kidney Patients half-hour of Open Discussion for Professional Providers Wednesday May 27, 2020 – see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/4-1-weekly-staff-support-calls/.
- CMS Stakeholder Engagement Call for Dialysis Providers Wednesday May 27, 2020, call 833-614-0820, passcode 6152699, audio webcast link https://engage.vevent.com/index.jsp?eid=5779&seid=2123#/main/simplify.
- They also offer Tuesday May 26, 2020 “Office Hours” for general Medicare questions, and Lessons from the Front Lines on Friday May 29, 2020. For details, including recordings of past events, see https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2020/04/20/4-21-cms-shareholder-engagement-calls/.
- This week’s Wednesday May 27, 2020 Coalition for Compassionate Care of California hour-long COVID Conversations is dedicated to Skilled Nursing facilities; see https://mailchi.mp/coalitionccc.org/no-one-should-die-alone-on-the-street-746076?e=67e1ad4c31. For weekly details and registration, recordings of past events, and additional resources, see https://coalitionccc.org/covid-conversations-education/.
DPC has changed the link to their April 7, 2020 webinar on What Patients Need to Know about COVID-19, in order to allow more participants. It’s now dialysispatients.adobeconnect.com/webinar/; see below for more details.
Dialysis Patient Citizens will host an April 7, 2020 patient education webinar on the COVID-19 Explosion, Lessons Learned from New York – What Kidney Patients Need to Know. See https://nwrnbulletins.wordpress.com/2020/04/06/4-7-dpc-covid-19-webinar-new-link/.
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 Blurred Lines: Keeping Safe Boundaries at a Dialysis Clinic, Lori and Network 18 Patient Services Director Eileen Rhodes discuss the problems that can arise when patients and staff become friends. Find this recorded podcast at https://www.rsnhope.org/kidneytalk/blurred-lines-keeping-safe-boundaries-at-a-dialysis-clinic/.
Previous podcasts can be found at https://www.rsnhope.org/, along with information about the Renal Support Network’s Annual Teen Prom, Annual Essay Contest, Monthly Support Group Meetings, Public Speaking Training, KidneyTalk Magazine, HOPEline Peer Support Hotline, KidneyTalk Blog, Renal Recipes, and the many other services RSN provides for ESRD patients.
A recent study published in the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) journal Diabetes Care (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2019/05/28/dc19-0296) using 2000-2015 USRDS data has shown that the rates of nontraumatic lower-extremity amputation (NLEA) among adults with ESRD and diabetes fell 44% between 2000 and 2013 from 7.5 to 4.2 NLEA per 100 person-years, while NLEA among ESRD patients without diabetes declined 31% over the same period, from 1.6 to 1.1 per 100 person-years. Both reductions were highly statistically significant. However, both rates flat-lined after 2013.
We want to stress the importance of improving patient and staff education on diabetes self-management and preventive foot care, in order to resume the reductions in these rates. CDC’s recommendations on diabetic foot care can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfoothealth/index.html. The ADA’s input is at http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html in English and http://www.diabetes.org/es/vivir-con-diabetes/complicaciones/el-cuidado-de-los-pies.html in Spanish.
MEI’s Home Dialysis Central blog has an interesting post on Laugh Out Load Hemodialysis, which Satellite Dialysis has been experimenting with. Among other things, the post describes the physiological benefits of laughter, including its positive impact on mood, pain, lungs, cardiovascular function, and immune response. Find the post at https://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/305-laugh-out-loud-hemodialysis-lol-hd-improving-the-dialysis-experience-at-satellite-healthcare/. While the subject of the post is in-center dialysis, anyone with an internet connection and computer or smartphone who dialyzes at home can call up a million comedies to watch. See also https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/DPC/DPCLaugh2019.pdf for information on a May 26, 2019 webinar on Pain Relief through Laughter.