Coronavirus and Home Dialysis
Tips to stay healthy
In these unprecedented times, it’s normal to feel a range of emotions surrounding coronavirus. COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we interact with our world and each other. As a home dialysis patient, you might feel nervous about your risk of contracting the virus.
Here at Cincinnati Home Dialysis, your health and safety is our top priority. That’s why we’ve put together a list of steps you can take to minimize your risk and ease your mind. While at times it can feel like there is no end in sight, please remember that we are in this together and our collective action will help bring this virus under control.
Follow state guidelines and orders
In our home state of Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are among the nation’s leaders in coronavirus mitigation. They recently issued a “Stay at Home” order to protect Ohio residents and slow the spread of the virus. As a home dialysis patient, you have a greater risk of contracting the virus. These orders are designed to protect you – please adhere to them strictly. If you are able, have groceries and supplies delivered to your home. You might also consider sending a healthy family member to pick up necessary items for you, or shop during the hours designated for high-risk individuals.
It’s easy to stay up to date on the latest recommendations and orders. Visit Ohio’s coronavirus website, follow Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health on Twitter, or tune in to daily media updates on your local PBS TV station, local NPR station, or online at ohiochannel.org.
Wash your hands
You might be getting tired of hearing “wash your hands” but it really is one of the most effective things you can do to remove bacteria, germs, and viruses of all kinds! When your hands are clean, you can stop the spread of germs to others in your home, workplace, and community.
Lather and thoroughly scrub your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer or a fun way to pass the time, check out Wash Your Lyrics, a web app that generates 20 seconds of handwashing lyrics from your favorite song to sing while you scrub. You can even print out the poster to hang by your sink.
Watch a handwashing tutorial from the New York Times and find answers to all the handwashing questions you never knew you had.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
While we’re still learning about the transmission of COVID-19, it is believed that the virus spreads from one person to another through droplets produced when someone carrying the virus coughs or sneezes. This makes it incredibly important to cover your coughs and sneezes even if you are not showing symptoms. These respiratory droplets can be inhaled by nearby people, which is why our state urges everyone to maintain six feet of distance from others outside our homes.
Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, and then immediately discard the tissue in a waste basket and wash your hands. If a tissue is not within reach, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Monitor home dialysis supply levels
Your ability to perform dialysis treatment at home allows you to avoid close contact with others in dialysis centers and helps minimize your chances of getting the virus from others. You do want to maintain a 30-day supply of dialysis treatments to avoid needing in-center dialysis if you run out. However, in the unlikely event that you do, dialysis centers will be open to provide the treatments necessary for your survival. If you’re concerned about maintaining an ample supply, contact your Cincinnati Home Dialysis care team.
Clean high-touch surfaces regularly
High-touch surfaces are things like door knobs, cabinet handles, faucets, phones, light switches, and any other surfaces you come in to contact with regularly. The EPA has a list of products that can be effective against COVID-19. As always, consult the instructions and warnings for any cleaners you use before applying them, and ensure that they are suitable for the material you’re trying to clean. Ingredients in these products can become toxic and highly dangerous if misused or combined. For more information, read the CDC’s recommendations.
This is not an exhaustive list of methods to protect yourself from coronavirus. For the latest updates, discoveries, and recommendations, consult the CDC and Ohio Department of Health websites. From all of us at Cincinnati Home Dialysis, we wish you health and peace during this season.