Charlotte Dialysis Clinic Prepares For Influx Of Patients Escaping Florence

Sep 13, 2018

An employee at the DaVita Clinic off Sugar Creek Road is testing a dialysis machine.
Credit Alex Olgin/ WFAE

Charlotte area dialysis centers are preparing to take on patients evacuating the coasts. People who have kidney disease need to have this life sustaining treatment, which cleans a patient’s blood every few days.  

With three weeks of supplies on hand, the DaVita Clinic near Sugar Creek road is ready to treat patients who have come to Charlotte to get out of Hurricane Florence’s path. The company has 87 clinics and about 6,000 patients in North Carolina.

The machines that act as kidneys for patients with end-stage renal disease filter out toxins and excess water from the bloodstream. The treatment can take up to four hours. Regional Operations Director with DaVita Erik Wright said because Charlotte is far enough inland, he expects to see more patients in need of dialysis.

“We’ve received a little over two dozen patients just in the greater Charlotte area — evacuees that have left the coast and have kind of pre-planned to come to Charlotte," he said. "[In] the greater Charlotte area, we do expect that number to pick up just a little bit.”

Wright said employees at DaVita clinics on the coasts are also moving inland to help deal with the potential influx of patients. There are several generators and fuel tanks in the parking lot of the Sugar Creek clinic that Wright said can be deployed to nearby clinics if they lose power.

DaVita has an list of things patients can do to prepare for the storm, and what to do if they face an extended period of time between treatments.