CKD lab tests during COVID-19 – know your risk


As a chronic kidney disease patient, routine trips for blood and urine tests are part of your life. With recent spikes in COVID-19 cases around the tri-state, it’s natural to feel uneasy about the safety of getting these labs done in-person. Being aware of the risks and benefits can help you feel more at ease and start a conversation with your care team about how to manage your CKD during the pandemic.

Importance of routine testing

Your Nephrology Associates of Greater Cincinnati care team believes in the importance of detecting and treating chronic kidney disease early. Routine blood and urine tests allow your nephrologist to keep a close eye on the progression of the disease and effectiveness of the treatment plan.

Risks versus benefits

The CDC determined that CKD patients are among high-risk groups for contracting COVID-19. Any activities with the potential for human contact, like coming in for routine lab tests, have some degree of risk. Talk to your nephrologist about the risks versus the benefits of in-person lab testing. In some cases, your risk of complications from CKD is greater than the risk of potential coronavirus exposure. This will ultimately be a decision you make with your doctor based on your overall health and comfort level.

Safety measures

Some labs, like urine tests, could be done in-home. If your insurance company and lab center approve it, they will send you a test kit to complete and send back. But if you do need to have your labs done in-person, know that these facilities are among the most thoroughly sanitized places you can go. Healthcare providers are vigilant about providing clean environments so patients can continue receiving routine care. Before you come in, your lab center will likely call you for a COVID-19 phone screen. Let them know you are a high-risk patient, and they can arrange for you to come in during high-risk-patients-only hours and put additional precautions in place to protect you.

And of course, when you go in for your labs, always wear your mask and gloves, keep your distance from others, and wash your hands frequently.


Know Your Risk: COVID-19 and Kidney Transplant


For kidney transplant patients:

Transplant patients have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the immunosuppressive medication required to keep your body from rejecting the transplanted kidney. This medication is critical for the success of your transplant, so do NOT stop taking it. Instead, take steps to limit any potential exposure to the virus. As Ohio begins to reopen, it is critical to continue staying home as much as possible. Take advantage of grocery delivery and pick-up options, or have a friend or relative shop for you and leave the bags at your door. If you are not able to work remotely, your doctor may be able to write a letter to your employer for a leave of absence.


Supporting Cincinnati’s Frontline Healthcare Workers

In the face of this public health crisis, Cincinnati area hospital workers risk their lives every day to care for our communities’ most vulnerable individuals. Many work incredibly long hours and lack the personal protective equipment to keep themselves safe from COVID-19 – and are still smiling through it all. Cincinnati-Jewish-Hospital-frontline-healthcare-workers-receiving-lunch

That’s why the Nephrology Associates of Cincinnati are spearheading an effort to give back to local healthcare workers. Communities Supporting Frontline Healthcare Workers of Cincinnati is an initiative to raise funds and awareness for these heroes. All donations will go toward the purchase of food and gift cards from local vendors and will be distributed to frontline healthcare workers at area hospitals. Those who are unable to give a monetary donation can still provide encouragement and appreciation to healthcare workers within the Facebook group.


Kidney-friendly foods for quarantine



As a chronic kidney disease patient, keeping your distance from others is necessary to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19. Maintaining a two-week supply of food means you won’t need to leave your house as often and potentially come into contact with virus carriers.

You might be wondering what types of shelf-stable items are safe for your kidneys, especially since many of them are sodium-rich. The Nephrology Associates of Cincinnati have assembled a guide to find foods that are generally low potassium, low phosphorus, and low sodium for CKD patients. Everyone’s kidney-friendly diet varies slightly based on their condition, so always consult with your care team if you’re uncertain about what’s safe for you to eat. 


Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Kidney Donor



As a loved one to someone with chronic kidney disease, you may feel inspired to consider kidney donation. This type of donation is called living organ donation. CKD patients who receive a living kidney transplant tend to live longer and healthier lives than those on dialysis. There are benefits for the donor, too. You may feel good about significantly improving another person’s life, and even learn more about your own health through the donor assessment process.


3 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude Every Day with Chronic Kidney Disease


When living with a chronic illness like kidney disease, it can sometimes feel like the illness is all-consuming. Rewiring the brain to find gratitude can not only support mental health, but also aid in the physical healing process. Mindfulness practices like showing gratitude and meditation can help reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and depression that are common with chronic illnesses, and even lower blood pressure when done consistently. As a CKD patient, you know that keeping your blood pressure in check is important to slowing the progression of kidney disease. Developing a daily gratitude practice is a great first step toward using your mind to promote well-being in your whole body. Here are a few ways to get started.

Contact Us

Nephrology Associates of Greater Cincinnati
4750 E Galbraith Road, Suite#103
Cincinnati, OH 45236

(513) 984-3500
(513) 791-2151