As Boston faced a lockdown while an army of federal, state, and local law enforcement tracked down the Boston Marathon bombers, dialysis providers had to make sure that their patients still had their needed treatments. NN&I asked Ted Steinman (pictured below), a staff nephrologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and an NN&I editorial advisory board member, to walk us through what steps were taken at Beth Israel dialysis clinics throughout the city during the standoff and, in his words, how the city pulled through.
"Everyone was told to stay off the streets, all public transport was suspended and cabs were removed from the streets during the lockdown. It was truly a scene from the sci-fi movie, 'The Day the Earth Stood Still.' But the city of Boston was the role model for how to function in such an emergency and the coordination of care was what you hoped it would be.
"First of all, all personnel already in our hospital were provided room and board – they stayed in place and continued to work. This provided coverage for those who could not travel from the lockdown areas. Dialysis patient travel to both in-hospital and freestanding facilities was coordinated with the local police departments. Dialysis patients were either escorted or driven by the various police departments (coordinating pick ups and returns for patients within a defined region). Staff who made it to dialysis facilities all worked double shifts. The amount of missed dialysis treatments across a wide network was very few. People did not fall through the cracks. Boston was at its best – the paradigm of support, cooperation and communication. It was a good day for Bean Town because of what it accomplished for their citizenry."
"From a personal view, I was very proud to be a Bostonian last week. Last Monday we started with violence, tragedy, and human suffering in a background of uncertainty. We ended Friday as a city of solidarity and courage, but with a heavy heart (that remains constant) for the innocent victims of senseless violence. The citizens of this city and its suburbs will stand shoulder to shoulder and embrace the differences that make this a special place to live."
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