Taking care of dialysis patients during an emergency means taking care of clinic staff

NNNKidney Care Community | September 7, 2016 —

The floods that inundated Southeast Louisiana last month and damaged more than a 100,000 homes came with very little warning. Residents had little time to hunker down in storm shelters or evacuate to higher ground. They were going about their normal business, attending school, going to work, and for some, undergoing their regular dialysis sessions.

On August 13, employees at the Baton Rouge area dialysis clinics run by Fresenius Medical Care went to work as usual, and the patients came in for their treatments. Rivers in the area rose so rapidly that two clinics in the Baton Rouge area had to be evacuated that day. As patients were dialyzing, the staff saw the water coming up and reached out to the authorities.

“It was a controlled evacuation,” said Tim Berberovich, Fresenius Medical Care regional vice president in the Southeast Louisiana and Mississippi area. “The water wasn’t inside the clinics. Patients were able to finish their treatments. Our staff was very much on top of it.”

Even though the water rose rapidly, Fresenius staff were able to use their disaster preparedness training and responded appropriately. “They handled it amazingly,” said Berberovich. “They maintained a calm composure, put their patients first, and ensured that the patients finished their dialysis treatments. They did an excellent job.”

“I don’t think anybody realized the extent of what was about to happen,” he said. The height and quickness of the flood caught a lot of people by surprise, which is why we saw so many people stranded in their homes and on the highways.”

The floods affected 22 Fresenius dialysis clinics in the Baton Rouge area. Three clinics were closed, including one that was completely destroyed. Two of the closed clinics are being rebuilt, and Fresenius is relocating the other, which was completely flooded. Forty Fresenius employees lost their homes.

Read the full story at Nephrology News