Renal Program

Below is information about COVID-19 that is specific to patients and families of the Regional Renal Program of South Eastern Ontario– also known as the Kidney Program. 

Please click here for answers specific to transplant patients. 

  1. Is the George Street entrance and GIDRU entrance to the KHSC hub closed? How do I get in for my appointment?
  2. Is my appointment at the KHSC hub (located on Burr 3 of Kingston General Hospital site) cancelled?
  3. Is my appointment at the satellite dialysis site cancelled?
  4. How much medication should I keep on hand in case I can’t go to the clinic or pharmacy to pick up more?
  5. What are you doing to protect us from possible infection when we come for a visit?
  6. What can I do to prevent getting infected?
  7. Should I wear a face mask?
  8. As a patient, is it safe for me to go to work? To go outside?
  9. Can I still bring my family member to their appointment?
  10. Can I still have my dialysis treatment if I screen positive for COVID-19?

Answers

Is the George Street entrance and GIDRU entrance to the KHSC hub closed? How do I get in for my appointment?

All patients and visitors are to use the Burr 0 main entrance, located at 25 King Street West, to enter and exit.

There is active screening in place at all hospital entrances. Each person who enters the hospital will undergo active screening. This active screening will ask you questions based on the latest screening protocols from the Minister of Health and, depending on your results, will determine where you go next for your appointment.

Only one well person with no out of country travel history within the past 14 days is permitted to accompany a patient to an appointment, although we strongly encourage people to attend appointments alone. The goal is to encourage non-essential people to avoid the hospital.

Is my appointment at the KHSC hub (located on Burr 3 of Kingston General Hospital site) cancelled?

No appointments are being cancelled. All clinic appointments are being reviewed by the care team and identified if they can be held over the phone or continue in-person.

For appointments that must take place at the KHSC hub (dialysis), you will undergo COVID-19 screening questions upon entry to the hospital. This screening will ask you questions based on the latest screening protocols from the Minister of Health and, depending on your results, will determine where you go next for your appointment. 

Is my appointment at the satellite dialysis site cancelled?

No appointments are being cancelled. To minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 all satellite site patients will receive a screening phone call prior to their scheduled appointment. The screening questions will evolve on the advice of our Infection Control practitioners.

If you were scheduled to receive treatment at a satellite site and you answered ‘yes’ to a screening question, you may be asked to come to Kingston for your treatment. This decision will be made in consultation with your care team.

How much medication should I keep on hand in case I can’t go to the clinic or pharmacy to pick up more?

Pharmacies are considered an essential service and will continue to be available to meet patient medication needs. At this time, it is not necessary to request additional refill quantities or early refills. Your community pharmacist may reduce your prescription dispensed quantity to a 30-day supply at a time to ensure no medication shortages occur as a result of stockpiling of medications.

If you need your prescription delivered, please contact your dispensing pharmacy to ask about delivery options.

If you are running low on your prescription medication please ask your dispensing pharmacy to fax a refill request and we will process it as soon as we are able.

What are you doing to protect us from possible infection when we come for a visit?

We are taking many precautions, including limiting the number of people on-site, restricting access and screening all persons who enter the building. We are working closely with our Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) team to ensure the best practices are maintained to protect our patients, visitors and staff. This includes cleaning surfaces by the protocols recommended by IPC, limiting visitors, having active screening in place at all entrances and using the proper personal protective equipment (like masks and gowns) when needed.

What can I do to prevent getting infected?

There is a wide range of symptoms for people with COVID-19 ranging from no symptoms to severe pneumonia. It is possible that renal and kidney patients are at a higher risk of more severe symptoms.

Like all members of the general public they should do their best to avoid infection. This includes:

  • Avoiding crowded public places
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water (20 to 30 sec)
  • Avoid touching their face
  • Covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoiding others who are unwell
  • Staying home when sick

Should I wear a face mask?

No. A face mask should not be worn unless you are symptomatic or directed to do so by a healthcare provider.

As a patient, is it safe for me to go to work? To go outside?

Social distancing is recommended for our patients to limit the risk of acquiring COVID-19. This includes limiting crowded and closed spaces — these scenarios include a crowded bus or train, movie theaters, malls, sporting arenas, restaurants, etc. Read about additional measures you can take to practice social distancing here

Certain renal patients may have some lingering immune deficits and may be at risk for serious disease, particularly those who have received transplants.  

If work puts you in close contact with other people (i.e. healthcare, retail service), it is recommended that you not be at work if you can at all avoid it.  If you are able to work remotely from home, this is encouraged.

Staying active during this time is important, and at the current time you can still leave home  You may plan to take walks around the neighborhood and go grocery shopping during off-peak hours if it cannot be done by someone else — bring your own grocery bags, disinfect cart handles, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer after using the cart. The most important aspect is prevention; hand hygiene is critical.

Can I still bring my family member to their appointment?

Only one well person with no out of country travel history within the past 14 days is permitted to accompany a patient to an appointment, although we strongly encourage people to attend appointments alone. The goal is to encourage non-essential people to avoid the hospital. 

Can I still have my dialysis treatment if I screen positive for COVID-19?

All treatment decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis by the lead physician. If you were scheduled to receive treatment at a satellite site (outside of the KHSC hub located at the Kingston General Hospital site), you may be asked to come to Kingston for your treatment. At the KHSC hub site we have isolated a space and schedule to allow those who screen positive to receive their treatment and to safeguard the health of all patients, families and staff.

 

Transplant patient specific information

What do I do if I have a fever?

Take your temperature and if it is 37.5 Celsius or 99.5 Fahrenheit call the Transplant Team for further instructions.

Who should I call during business hours? 

The Transplant Nurses at 613-549-6666 extension 2148

Who should I call after hours?

Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-7000

Will my fever be the same as everyone else’s since I’m on my prednisone?

No. Your fever could be reduced due to your immunosuppression medications. That’s why we want you to take your temperature and call the Transplant Team.

How much more at risk am I to get COVID-19 because I’m immunosuppressed?

We do not have specific information at this time.  However since other viruses can cause more severe disease in immunosuppressed patients, we believe that you should take precautions to avoid infection.

Do I come to Transplant Clinic?

Your Transplant Team will call you if you require a clinic visit. Please be adherent to these instructions to avoid exposure. If a clinic visit is not needed, your Transplant Team will notify you. You may only need blood work with a follow up phone call from the Doctor.

Where do I go for blood work?

Your Transplant Team will provide instructions on locations for blood work.

Should I go to work?

This depends on the amount of contact you have with the public and risk of exposure. Please call the Transplant Team to discuss this in more detail. A sick letter may be provided if indicated.

Should my partner go to work?

This will depend on your partner’s job and risk of exposure. Please call the Transplant Team to discuss this further. Please be advised the Transplant Team will NOT provide sick leave notes for your partner.

What do I do if someone in my house is sick or develops a fever?

Reduce contact with them and follow infection precautions

Should I come in for my IV iron?

Please call the Transplant Team to discuss this and re-evaluate the urgency for the infusion.

Should I go for my IV Solaris in the community infusion clinic?

Yes, unless you are ill. Please call the Transplant Team if you have any questions.

I’m due for my Pentamidine inhalation treatment at the hospital. Should I go?

Yes unless you are ill. Please call the Transplant Team if you have any questions.

What if I have some of the symptoms but not the fever?

Please call the Transplant Team to discuss.