Welcome to the January Edition of
KCER Watch
In This Issue
  • COVID-19 and Winter Blues
  • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Releases “End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Community COVID-19 After-Action Report and Improvement Plan”
  • Preparing for a Winter Storm
  • It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Vaccine
  • Dialysis Emergency Takeoff
COVID-19 and the Winter Blues
Winter can be a difficult time for some. Long, dark days coupled with cold weather and social isolation can lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety or depression. The winter can be especially difficult for people with compromised immune systems as they are being asked to “hunker down” and social distance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) created Tips to Help You Boost Your Physical and Mental Health During COVID-19 handout to help patients and family members better deal with stress, reduce anxiety, and face the unknown confidently. The resource is available in English and Spanish.
Help Is Available
If you are having trouble overcoming your depression, you could be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that’s related to changes in the seasons. Many people report it feels like having their energy sapped out of them and makes them feel blue. If you or someone you know is in distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). You can also text the Crisis Text Line, HELLO to 741741.
KCER Releases “ESRD Community
COVID-19 After-Action Report and Improvement Plan”
In November, KCER published the ESRD Community COVID-19 After-Action Report and Improvement Plan. The report identifies and documents how the ESRD community operated through the COVID-19 pandemic. It also looks at key issues, challenges, and best practices. The report educates the public on the overall response to the pandemic and prepares the kidney community for future events related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read it here by visiting the KCER Coalition website.
Preparing for a Winter Storm
Winter storms can bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of these conditions. Planning and preparation can help you manage the impact of a winter storm, and, keep you and your family safe. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Winter Weather webpage to learn how to prepare for winter storms, prevent cold temperature-related health problems, and protect yourself during all stages of a winter storm. 
It's Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot
Influenza, commonly called flu, usually peaks between December and February. The best action you can take to prevent seasonal flu from affecting you and others is getting a flu shot. It’s not too late! The vaccine greatly reduces your risk of getting flu and from spreading it to others.

In support of the CDC, the ESRD NCC has created the Flu Communications Toolkit to promote flu vaccination for dialysis, kidney transplant recipients, and those who care for them. Please use the social media messages, images, flu facts, and available resources to encourage your patients, their families, and healthcare providers you serve to get a flu shot this flu season. Visit www.esrdncc.org/flu for more.
Dialysis Emergency Takeoff
There may come a time when there is an emergency at your dialysis center. If this happens, staff will inform you that you’ll need to be taken off the dialysis machine in order to evacuate the clinic. KCER has a resource to help you safely disconnect from your machine. Download and share the KCER Emergency Disconnect Procedure for In-Center Hemodialysis Patients one-page instruction sheet. The handout explains in three steps how you can disconnect from the machine. Review the steps with the staff at your clinic.
Essential Resources
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This material was prepared the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) contractor, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy nor imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. FL-KCER-7K5T6A-12222020-01