Emergency Instructions for Dialysis Patients

What dialysis patients need to do in the event of a disaster situation and evacuation:

  1. During the next few days, limit the amount of fluids and liquids you eat or drink until you are able to get to your next dialysis treatment. Do not eat or drink more than 2 cups of fluid in 24 hours.
    If you take in too much fluid before you can get your next dialysis, your lungs will fill up with fluid and you won't be able to breathe.
  2. Do NOT drink Gatorade or other sports/energy drinks (high in salt and potassium).
  3. Everything that goes in your mouth that is liquid (or turns liquid at room temperature) needs
    to be counted in the 2 cups you are allowed for 24 hours. This includes the following drinks and foods:
    • Water
    • Soup
    • Ice cream or sherbert
    • Jello or pudding
    • Ice Chips
    • Tea (hot or iced)
    • Coffee
    • Popsicles
    • Milk
    • Juice
    • Snow Cones
    • Beer, wine, liquors
  4. Try this simple way of keeping track of how much you are drinking:
    • At the beginning of each day, measure 2 cups of water into a pitcher.
    • BEFORE you drink or eat anything that is liquid, pour the liquid into a measuring cup to find out how much liquid you are actually putting into your body.
    • Then, before drinking or eating the liquid - Remove the same amount of water from the pitcher that you just measured in the measuring cup.
    • Do this everytime you are going to drink or eat anything that is liquid.
    • When all the water has been removed from your pitcher - you should NOT drink or eat anything else liquid that day.
    • 2 cups is not very much fluid - Until you can get to dialysis, you need to be very careful about how much fluid you are eating or drinking each time.
  5. Until you can get to dialysis, follow Emergency 3-Day Diet the Nurse gives you:
    • This will help you limit the amount of potassium and sodium (salt or salty Foods) that you get in what you are eating and drinking.
    • It is dangerous to eat too much potassium. High potassium in the body causes dangerous heart beats that can make your heart stop beating (and you could die).
    • Eating too much sodium (salt) causes fluids to build up in your body, causing swelling and fluid in the lungs.
  6. If you start having trouble breathing, irregular heart beats, chest pain, muscle twitching or muscle cramping, Go to closest Emergency Room IMMEDIATELY.
  7. Call your regular dialysis clinic on Monday to schedule dialysis.
  8. If you can't contact your regular dialysis clinic on Monday, Call the ESRD Network of Texas at 877-886-4435 (toll-free) or 972-503-3215. ESRD Network staff will be available to help locate a dialysis clinic that is open and able to take patients without a clinic.