It is unfortunate that Dialysis Clinics are seen as targets for nefarious (wicked or criminal) activities. For instance, according to the Todd County Tribune the Rosebud Police Department has made five arrests for a break-in at a local DaVita Dialysis Center. They reported, "The two suspects arrested were charged with the theft/burglary from the DaVita Dialysis Center and three suspects were arrested and charged with accessories after the fact by assisting in the sale of the stolen artwork while they knew the items were stolen property." Unfortunately, these sort of criminal activities are not uncommon in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community and it is causing patients to grow increasingly concerned about their own safety.
Several months ago, Katherine Hessel (KVEW-TV) reported, "Man Arrested Attempting To Rob Dialysis Center." Just as you would expect, around 5:00 AM John Supak (51-years-old) threw a rock through the window of a DaVita Dialysis Center to get inside. Luckily, no patients were harmed as the authorities were called and retrieved John from a conference room where he was hiding from officers.
One Michigan Dialysis patient was directly confronted at gunpoint by a robber who demanded his wallet as the 49-year-old man was exiting his car to walk into his 5:00 AM Dialysis Treatment. The robber was "forced to retreat after his intended victim pulled out a gun of his own," said My Fox Detroit. However, what do patients who are not armed do in case they find themselves in a robbery situation? If you have no way to protect yourself, the only choice you have is to cooperate with the armed robber. The following are some useful tips:
- Remain calm and obey the robber.
- Keep your hands visible.
- Do not have a discussion with him/her.
- Keep him informed.
- Give him/her what he demands.
- Observe him/her attentively and attempt to remember key elements (sex, age, height, weight, eye color, clothing, weapon, tattoos, scars, accent, distinct odors such as alcohol or tobacco).
- Attempt to memorize what he/she touches for fingerprinting by authorities.
- Do not chase the robber.
Most importantly, you have to remain calm and do everything the person demands you do. If you panic or rebel, you could put yourself in danger and get hurt, or even worse.
You can lower the chance of being robbed outside of your Dialysis Center by parking in a well-lit area such as underneath a lamppost. Also, consider exiting and entering your Dialysis Center with others you see leaving or arriving if it is dark outside. If you see something that is odd or unsettling, then call 9-1-1. Police officers understand that patients can feel very vulnerable and would be happy to investigate a non-frivolous concern.
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Have you ever been in a situation where you felt vulnerable or concerned about being robbed or harmed at your Dialysis Center? If so, what did you do? What do you do to remain safe? We love to read your comments. Join the robust conversation with our over 36,000 friends at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan page (click here and like the page). Also, follow our over 115,000 monthly viewers and visit KidneyBuzz.com every day for the most up to date news and information which teaches Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetic, and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.