Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Wadhwa: Patients with end stage renal disease rely on dialysis treatments to survive. Hence this population is very vulnerable during emergencies or disaster situations. We believe that patient education on an individual level is the cornerstone of a successful disaster plan. In this quality improvement study, we assessed disaster preparedness in our dialysis patients and evaluated multidisciplinary approach to disseminate this information. Multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, dieticians and social workers reviewed preparedness-relevant topics with the patients. Patients were provided purple cards (created by KCER) with emergency information to carry with them at all times. A simple yes/no questionnaire asking disaster preparedness relevant questions was given to the patients before and after this education was provided. Disaster preparedness was defined as perceived preparedness (survey question) and a positive response to at least three key questions-having a plan they have had discussed with a family member or dialysis unit, knowledge of backup dialysis facility and familiarity with emergency diet plan.