To raise awareness and shed a light on the importance of education for the kidney community, the Northwest Kidney Council invited elected officials and patients to learn from experts at organizations including the American Diabetes Association, Kaleidoscope Fighting Lupus, Dialysis Patient Citizens, the American Kidney Fund, Donate Life Northwest, Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita. Read on to learn about three important takeaways from the summit.
- COVID-19 has put a heavy burden on kidney patients and access to care
“We had to shift our entire lives. We literally had to rebuild from ground zero,” a patient told the American Kidney Fund.
While patients have been able to dialyze regularly, doctor’s appointments, routine check-ups and preventative care have all decreased, according the American Diabetes Association. Non urgent and elective procedures were largely cancelled during the initial stages of the pandemic, which may have delayed diagnoses for some living with CKD or led to poorer outcomes.
- Prevention and educational programming leads to healthier outcomes
Donate Life Northwest approaches education in a different way. As the leading organization helping support patients who are waiting for an organ transplant, the Donate Life communicates the benefits of deceased and living donation to the larger public. In the instance of living organ donation, not only does a living donor decrease the wait time for a patient on the list, but a kidney from a living donor lasts twice as long as one from a deceased donor.
- Health equity is a focus for many patient organizations