Hurricane season has already started (June 1- Nov 30) for the Atlantic. In Texas, it tends to hit more in the fall. After that ice and snow storms hit the north. And after or during all of that there is always the possibility of flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes. During Hurricane Katrina we had lots of transient patients that came our way because their dialysis facilities were unusable, so emergencies definitely can happen where patients can’t make it to dialysis for a week or more! I keep my emergency education simple for my patients so they can remember the main things that will really hurt them if they can’t get to dialysis (potassium and fluids!). I teach absolutely no flexibility or cheating in an emergency. That means avoid ALL high potassium foods and really really keep the fluids low. Many of my patients are not going to kee an emergency supply of food or follow the emergency diet I see in so many of the 3-4 page emergency handouts. However, I can help teach them at least what to avoid and throw in a few things they could keep in their pantry anyways.
In case the pictures didn’t come out clearly:
- Avoid all high potassium foods
- Orange/orange juice, potato chips, tomatoes, baked beans, canned spinach
- Avoid Salty Foods: Canned soup, peanuts, Slim Jims, Chips
- Non-perishable emergency food for your pantry: Special K bars, craisins, apple sauce, tuna packs, Ritz Hint of Salt Crackers, Nabisco Lorna done, 8 oz water bottle, graham crackers, Corn Pops, Vanilla Wafers, No Salt green beans, canned peaches, fig newtons, marshmallows
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Here is the handout that I generally use: Six tips for Emergencies.