Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Kidney Specialists Review Plans For Disaster Response

Date:
June 22, 2007
Source:
American Society of Nephrology
Summary:
Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters have focused attention on the urgent need for planning to provide health services after natural disasters. Patients with end-stage renal failure pose special challenges, as any large-scale disaster is likely to interrupt the regular dialysis treatments they need to stay alive.

Hurricane Katrina and other recent disasters have focused attention on the urgent need for planning to provide health services after natural disasters. Patients with end- stage renal failure pose special challenges, as any large-scale disaster is likely to interrupt the regular dialysis treatments they need to stay alive.

The July Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology presents an update on the nephrology community's efforts to meet the unique needs of people with kidney disease in the aftermath of disaster. Drawing on the experience of nephrologists who responded to Hurricane Katrina, recent earthquakes in Asia, and other disasters, four articles in the special section draw on past lessons to inform future plans for responding to future crises. The articles are preceded by an introduction from Dr. Paul Kimmel, highlighting the role of the ASN and other professional organizations in planning the response to disasters.

Dr. Jeffrey Kopp of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and coauthors analyze the lessons of two historic 2005 disasters: Hurricane Katrina and other storms that wreaked havoc along the U.S. Gulf Coast and the devastating earthquake in Kashmir, South Asia. After Katrina, 94 dialysis facilities in the region were closed for a week or longer—including more than one-third of all centers in the state of Louisiana. The best guess is that of over 5,800 Gulf Coast dialysis patients affected by Katrina, 2.5 percent died in the month after the storm—although given the high mortality rate among dialysis patients, it is difficult to determine how many deaths were storm-related.

The Kashmir earthquake offered different lessons, especially in terms of the risk of acute renal failure (ARF). This is a special concern in earthquakes or other causes of building collapse, because muscle damage from crush injuries can cause a condition called rhabdomyolysis, which can rapidly lead to ARF.

In response to these disasters, the Kidney Community Emergency Response Coalition (KCERC) was formed, with representatives from over 50 governmental and private organizations. A second article by Dr. Kopp and colleagues outlines the KCERC's plans for responding to future emergencies that interrupt dialysis services.

The recommendations focus on establishing "a timeline to safety" for dialysis patients: "If we accomplish specific tasks at each disaster stage, then it is likely that we can protect the health of these vulnerable patients," the authors conclude. They note that health care providers should "create an individualized disaster plan for each patient, and review the plan regularly with each patient." The KERC's approach may also help to guide disaster preparedness planning for other vulnerable populations.

Dr. Robert J. Kenney of Renal Associates of Baton Rouge, LLC, focuses on the need for every dialysis center to develop a specific disaster plan, addressing issues like communication, which was one of the most critical challenges after Katrina; electrical and water supplies; and special patient populations, such as evacuees and children. "The lack of organization and miscommunication following Katrina prompted providers at all levels to ask just how prepared dialysis facilities are for future catastrophes," says Dr. Kenney. "We hope to stimulate physicians, dialysis facilities, and staff to familiarize themselves with emergency preparedness concepts while noting specific resources where more specific information can be obtained."

Dr. Masafumi Fukagawa of Kobe University offers insights from the viewpoint of a renal physician in Japan, where various types of natural disasters—not only earthquakes and typhoons, but volcanic eruptions and tsunamis—are a threat. Drawing on the experience of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995, Dr. Fukagawa emphasizes the need to reopen medical centers as soon as possible after a disaster. He also emphasizes the need for sharing experiences across generations, as people who haven't lived through them "forget" how severe such rare disasters can be. "My hope is to summarize preparedness not only for usual degrees of earthquakes, but also for unexpectedly severe earthquakes—once in a lifetime or in centuries," says Dr. Fukagawa.

Dr. Kopp's work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Nephrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Nephrology. "Kidney Specialists Review Plans For Disaster Response." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620121247.htm>.
American Society of Nephrology. (2007, June 22). Kidney Specialists Review Plans For Disaster Response. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620121247.htm
American Society of Nephrology. "Kidney Specialists Review Plans For Disaster Response." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070620121247.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

Raw: Balloon Descends to Bottom of Croatian Cave

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) An Austrian balloon pilot has succeeded in taking a balloon deep underground, a feat which he believes is a world first. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

Bodies Recovered from Japan Volcano Eruption

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Rescue crews finished recovering the remaining 27 bodies from atop Japan's Mount Ontake Monday. At least 31 people were killed Saturday in the mountain's first fatal volcanic event in modern history. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins