This was a wonderful article published originally by the Los Angeles Times on May 8, 2020, by Jerry Levin, and then featured by Dialyze Direct on July 10, 2020. To read the articles in full, please follow the website links at the bottom of this page.
More than 30% of the early COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. as of March 16 were from a single nursing home — Life Care Center of Kirkland, Wash. Forty people in that nursing facility have died and more than two-thirds of their residents have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. We were shown the power of the virus to spread in such locations, and this has since spiraled: as of mid-April, 20% of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States were in nursing homes.
Last month, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma announced that all visitors were temporarily restricted from nursing homes. As CEO of Time Warner, when it was the largest media company in the world, I sat at the helm of 93,000 employees, amid constant interaction. Now I am required by federal regulations to sit here alone, and for good reason. This recipe of elderly, frail people in an enclosed communal environment is deadly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also provided specific guidelines to address a similar deathtrap: dialysis centers, due to their comparable high volume of older patients (50% of all dialysis patients are over 65) and their history of infections are a very high risk for heightening the spread. More than 725,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure, otherwise known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Of these, at least 500,000 individuals are on dialysis.
Among the first two COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. were dialysis patients, and last month Fresenius, the largest dialysis provider in the US, disclosed its infection rate (less than 0.5% of its patients), which was nearly triple the per capita infection rate of the general population in the U.S. (0.17%) at the time. It is obvious — in both nursing homes and dialysis facilities — why bringing together frail and elderly patients in a bounded community during a pandemic is terrifying. With social distancing rules being impossible to observe in these treatment centers, we are likely to see more challenging containment situations.
Read the full article on The Los Angeles Times website: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-08/our-coronavirus-blind-spot-people-like-me-who-need-dialysis
Read the full article featured by Dialyze Direct: https://www.dialyzedirect.com/our-coronavirus-blind-spot-people-like-me-who-need-dialysis/
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