What Dialysis Patients Should Know about COVID-19
People with kidney failure and other severe chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Senate Joint Resolution 49 (SJR49) creates the Kidney Disease Prevention and Education Task Force to study chronic kidney disease, transplantations, living and deceased kidney donation, and the disparity in the rates of those afflicted between Caucasians and minorities.
Once created, the task force will work directly with educational institutions to develop a sustainable plan to raise awareness about kidney disease. This plan will include research focusing on early detection, preventative screenings, promoting health equity, health education workshops and seminars, and reducing the burden of kidney disease throughout the State.
Kidney failure devastates people emotionally and financially as well as physically. Those with kidney failure have only two options for survival: dialysis treatment (often 3x a week) or a kidney transplant. These patients suffer from symptoms that can include fluid retention, swelling, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, nausea, and weakness.
Dialysis can take place at home or at a dialysis center – and access to insurance options can reduce financial stress. Many patients are too sick to work, and with dialysis sessions taking four hours each three times a week, it’s tantamount to having a part-time job.
The Illinois Kidney Care Alliance (IKCA) is a coalition of organizations, community groups and advocates, health professionals, and businesses from across Illinois coming together to ensure dialysis patients’ needs come first.
Currently, more than 650,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure. Of these, about 70 percent are on dialysis, while the rest are able to survive with a functioning kidney transplant. The incidence rate of kidney failure is expected to rise in the U.S. over the next decade – and is higher among African Americans, Latinos and people of color than among whites.