It was reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a Dialysis patient crashed an SUV into the Emory Dialysis Center in Atlanta Georgia. The reason? "He accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake," wrote reporter John Spink.
A Patient Care Technician, Ezekiel Adekoya, at Emory Dialysis said he was helping other workers set up Dialysis Machines when he suddenly heard a loud BANG! Although water lines were damaged and about thirty-eight (38) morning scheduled patients were impacted by the accident, there were no injuries reported. Sadly, the driver who also received treatments at the center had to be transported to the hospital.
This accident, while unfortunate, highlights a very important challenge for Dialysis patients who drive. Whether before or after treatments patients may not feel their best due to toxin buildup, anemia, post-treatment fog or exhaustion. These factors put Dialysis patients at an increased risk of having a vehicle accident.
Although the Associated Press reported that "Gas pedal accidents tend to occur more frequently among drivers over age 76 and under age 20," this may not apply directly to the Chronic Kidney Disease Community, especially for Dialysis patients. For instance, a patient who said that he attended the Emory Dialysis Center and was familiar with the driver suggested his age was approximately 50 years old.
What does this mean for YOU? Well, be alert. If you are not feeling well and you typically drive to and from Dialysis consider the following options:
1. Wait at your center until you feel better.
2. Call a taxi or other service such as Uber.
3. Ask a family member to drop you off and/or pick you up.
4. Be very cautious while driving and drive a bit slower than usual to avoid having to make any sharp turns or sudden moves.
Also, since many Dialysis patients drive themselves to Dialysis, be very careful when walking through the parking lot. If you see someone needing help, call a nurse or technician to assist them. Everyone in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community should try to look out for one another since most are in the similar position.
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