Dialysis center steps up to deliver help to 100 coastal kidney patients

Published: Oct. 10, 2016 at 8:20 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As evacuees flooded into the Midlands, emergency responders worked around the clock to make sure everyone was safe and secure, and that included nurses, technicians, and doctors at dialysis centers around the Midlands.

When we think of emergency response, we don't always think about medical staff, but the nurses at Fresenius Kidney Care stepped up to work through the night to care for more than 100 patients from coastal communities while also caring for their own.

RELATED: See photos of Hurricane Matthew damage from around the Midlands.

Staff members say what they do is the difference between life and death. Because patients of the center have poor functioning kidneys, the 4 hours they spend here 3 times each week is what keeps their body working the way they should. They say while local hospitals usually open up to offer dialysis during disasters like Matthew, they were inundated with an influx of patients needing treatment for storm-related issues.

By bringing in extra staff and extending normal hours through the night, staff members were able to keep dialysis patients out of emergency rooms and take one less stress off their plates.

"They were very concerned about their homes, their pets, their family, and friends," clinical manager DeQuata Young said. "We tried to comfort them, let them vent, let them, you know, just make them comfortable."

This clinic's parent company actually has a disaster response team in place for situations exactly like this. The last one they've gone through was exactly one year ago during the flood.

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