Fresenius Medical Care Recommends Seasonal Flu Shots for Dialysis Patients
Company Provides Vaccinations and Prevention Tips
WALTHAM, Mass. -- October 05, 2012
With flu season just around the corner, Fresenius Medical Care North America
(FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, is urging
dialysis patients to get flu shots to protect themselves against this common
infectious disease. In October, FMCNA will begin offering at no cost to all of
its dialysis patients and staff, flu vaccinations, which protect against both
seasonal flu and H1N1 swine flu.
While many flu sufferers experience relatively minor symptoms – including
fatigue, fever and chills, headache and body aches, nasal congestion and
coughing – the flu can pose a much more serious health threat to dialysis
patients, whose weakened immune systems make them susceptible to pneumonia and
other life-threatening complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises chronic kidney
disease (CKD) patients, particularly older adults and those on dialysis, to be
vaccinated against the flu every year. CKD is a progressive, usually permanent
loss of kidney function. Many people who have CKD are still in the early
stages of the disease, but by the time CKD leads to kidney failure, or
end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the only treatments are a kidney transplant or
Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the
blood, removes extra fluids and controls the body’s chemistry when a person’s
kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing
basis unless they receive a kidney transplant.
“It’s important for all kidney patients to be vaccinated against the flu
because of the serious health complications it can cause,” says Dr. Jeffrey L.
Hymes, MD, Senior Vice President and Associate Chief Medical Officer at FMCNA.
“We also urge patients and medical staff to take precautions to protect
themselves from catching and spreading flu viruses.”
Patients should inquire at their local dialysis clinic about specific
vaccination opportunities near them. Besides getting a flu shot, Fresenius
Medical Care offers these tips to help dialysis patients avoid catching, or
spreading, the flu this season:
*Flu viruses is transmitted mainly by airborne droplets, so remember to
cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze – and dispose of used
*Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
after coughing, sneezing or using a tissue.
*Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
*If you have signs of the flu when you come in for dialysis, tell your
caregivers before entering the clinic, so that they can provide you with a
mask to protect other patients and staff.
*If you get a flu shot elsewhere, let your caregiver know, so that they can
include this information in your medical records.
FMCNA’s flu vaccination initiative demonstrates the company’s UltraCare^®
mission of delivering excellent, patient-centered care through innovative
programs, the latest technology, continuous quality improvement and a focus on
superior customer service.
About Fresenius Medical Care
Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) is the world’s leading company devoted to
patient-centered renal therapy. Through more than 3,119 clinics in North
America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney
dialysis treatments to approximately 253,000 patients worldwide. We are also
the world’s leading maker of dialysis products, such as dialysis machines,
dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a
condition that affects more than 2.1 million individuals worldwide. For more
information about the company’s more than 2,100 U.S. dialysis facilities,
visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more
information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or
Brooks Toombs, 617-638-0022
Fresenius Medical Care
Rosemary Heinold, 781-699-4171
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