American Kidney Fund Urges Caution as States Move to Reopen

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) has called on state and local governments to develop action plans for relaxing stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines that keep the unique needs of patients with end-stage renal disease receiving maintenance hemodialysis in mind.

In most cases, patients on hemodialysis must travel to dialysis centers three times a week for 4 hours at a time to receive treatment. Sheltering in place is not an option, and patients risk exposure to the coronavirus when they leave their homes.

In a press release, LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and chief executive officer, said, “While AKF recognizes the dramatic impact that stay-at-home orders have had on all those who have lost their jobs, and on state and local economies, we are also deeply concerned that prematurely relaxing these orders, before adequate testing is in place, will have a disproportionately deadly impact on vulnerable populations. These moves could needlessly cost lives, especially in minority communities. People with kidney disease and other chronic disease conditions are at particular risk.”