Important update on COVID-19

For Fresenius Medical Care the health and safety of our patients, colleagues and partners is our main priority. We take this very seriously and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure that our practices are adequate and appropriate in view of the evolving events.  As we take care of some of healthcare’s most vulnerable patients, we are keeping a close eye on this situation and have reinforced the infection control practices already in place to protect them. We are in close contact with the local authorities in the countries where we operate and follow their guidance. We have also created task forces to review our response as the situation develops.

We have implemented precaution plans regarding COVID-19 in our dialysis centres and are in ongoing dialogue with the country teams and authorities where we operate. As our dialysis patients depend on our services, we have also taken far-reaching precautionary actions and have set-up contingency plans that ensure our patients can be confident they will receive dialysis care as needed, also in the event of a larger scale epidemic.

We have also taken precautions for our employees. Our clinical staff is trained in infection control practices. In addition, we have developed contingency plans for our other facilities in the event that the situation deteriorates. Moreover, we have issued travel restrictions and no larger group meetings or conferences are taking place within our organisation and previously planned events have either been postponed or converted into virtual meetings.

Given the fact that dialysis patients are generally more exposed to severe consequences from respiratory diseases, we ask dialysis patients to refrain from both international and national travel during the COVID-19 epidemic as a precautionary measure. To protect our patients and our staff, we have decided to temporarily suspend our holiday dialysis programmes. For patients this means that we are currently not accepting new holiday patients (national and international) for treatment in our clinics.

Click here to find a Fresenius Medical Care dialysis centre near you. For further assistance, please contact your dialysis centre directly.

Patient information leaflet

Important information on COVID-19 for our patients

We summarized some important information for you. At the moment and also in the close future, you may notice changes in the dialysis centre. Even during the outbreak, our dialysis centres will remain open and our supply chain is stable. Our clinical staff is trained in infection control practices. Based on the clinic setting or your medical history, the clinic team may change your normal routine. Please comply.

If you have any questions, uncertainties or face situations where family members or people in your surrounding get in contact with the virus, please speak to our clinic team.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new respiratory virus spreading worldwide that causes diseases ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Nevertheless, most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. It is transmitted by the drops that a person expels when coughing or sneezing, or by touching any surface contaminated by the virus with the hands and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth with contaminated hands.

It is the time to focus on prevention.

If you have any questions, please speak to your dialysis clinic team.

Notice Symptoms

Coronavirus symptoms are very similar to flu. Please check for these symptoms regularly:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you notice symptoms, please contact your dialysis centre team and speak to your medical team for support.

Practice Prevention

The infections are mainly spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth of a COVID-19 positive person. We recommend these prevention measures in daily practice:

Wash your hands with soap, at least for 20 seconds

Following good hand washing practices is the best way to reduce the number of germs on your hands and help prevent infection.

  • After using bathroom
  • After wiping nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Before and after having a meal
  • After using public transport
  • After being in public places
  • Before and after putting mask on and off

You may want to hang up this poster for you and your family members.

How to disinfect your hands correctly

Disinfectants can further help on your hands or near your fistula.

Step by step:

  • Apply a palmful of the product in a cupped hand
  • Cover all surfaces
  • Rub hands palm to palm
  • Palm to palm with fingers interlaced 
  • Right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa
  • Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked and vice versa
  • Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa
  • Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa

You may want to hang up this poster for you and your family members.

Avoid the spread of germs

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow (not the fistula arm) when you cough or sneeze. Avoid using your bare hands
  • Throw used tissues into trash immediately
  • Regularly disinfect your hands and arms
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth directly
  • Avoid physical contact by greeting people
  • Keep > 1,5 meters distance from others
  • Avoid enclosed spaces and crowds of people

Wear a mask

As a physical barrier, surgical masks are designed to prevent these droplets passing onto surfaces or people. This physical barrier can also prevent the droplets to reach the lungs. For protection, it is crucial that the mask is placed properly.

Even if the general public is currently not advised to wear masks, it is recommended for dialysis patients to wear additional protection, when in public.

When to wear a mask

  • In general, if using public transport (e.g. bus, tram, taxi) or if you are in a public space
  • During your transport to and from the dialysis center
  • If instructed by the clinic team, wear the mask during your stay in the dialysis center incl. your treatment
  • If you share a household and one member shows respiratory symptoms

You may see the clinic personal using additional protective equipment, don’t be afraid, these are preventative measures.

If necessary, our clinical staff provides you with a mask and shows you how to use it correctly. Please take good care of the equipment given to you and follow the clinic staff instruction.

You may want to hang up this poster for you and your family members.

What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

  • Before you start your journey, contact your dialysis centre and advise the staff of your symptoms. The staff will then instruct you on what to do next.
  • If you are at the dialysis clinic, do not enter the treatment room. Wait to be assessed by your medical team.
  • If you need urgent care, contact and go directly to the emergency department. Please inform the dialysis centre.
  • If you are advised to come to the clinic, you will be separated from other patients to limit the chances of spreading the virus to others. The clinic team will wear protecting clothes and facemasks.

Based on symptoms, the clinic setting or your medical history, the clinic team may change your normal routine. Please comply.

Why is social distance important?

Coronavirus is spread mainly from person to person.

The infections are mainly spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth of a COVID-19 positive person.

These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Therefore, it is important to stay more than 1,5 meters away from other people. It is important to take other precautions as well (e.g. washing hands after arriving at home or in the clinic).

Older adults, people receiving dialysis or having other severe chronic diseases seem to have a higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Therefore, it is especially important that you take actions to reduce your risk and take measures to avoid exposure.

  • Stay home on your non-dialysis days
  • If possible, use individual transport to and from dialysis facilities
  • If using public or group transport (e.g. bus, tram, taxi), protect yourself and others. Disinfect your hands before and after.
  • Reduce personal contact and abstain from public & private events
  • Do not greet people with a handshake, kiss
    or hug.
  • Ensure to keep > 1,5 m distance from others
  • Please make sure to keep sufficient supply of kidney-friendly food, fresh water and sufficient medication. Ideally, ask for assistance in getting your supplies

If you share a household with someone who shows symptoms

  • Stay home and monitor your symptoms
  • Inform your clinic team and local healthcare authority
  • Wash your hands often (> 20 sec.) or disinfect
  • People with symptoms should stay in separate rooms as much as possible, wear a facemask and ideally use a separate bathroom
  • Clean all surfaces regularly with household cleaner and avoid sharing personal items, like dishes, towels or bedding

Visitor notice for our dialysis centres

We ask for your understanding that we have to restrict the entrance of family members and care takers in our dialysis centres during the time of COVID 19 outbreak.

If you accompany your family member, please ideally avoid entering the dialysis centres. If your entrance should be unavoidable, please follow the guidance of the clinic team.The entrance to the treatment room will be restricted.

Please be aware, if you accompany your family member for physical assistance, our clinic team is prepared and will take the full physical assistance.

Our COVID-19 Waiting room etiquette

Our clinical staff is trained in infection control practices. Especially during the outbreak of COVID-19, we ask you to pay close attention and to follow our waiting room and dialysis centre etiquette for these circumstances.

  • Your temperature and potential symptoms will be checked
  • For precaution measures, you may be asked to separate from others.
  • Wash/ Disinfect your hand incl. AV fistula directly after arriving at the dialysis centre & before departure
  • Don’t crowd around the dispenser
  • Keep distance from others when moving around the dialysis centre, > 1,5 m
  • Leave enough space between each other when sitting in the waiting room, > 1,5 m
  • Try to avoid unnecessary movement
  • Avoid touching surfaces & furniture as much as possible
  • Wait to be called in the treatment room
  • Greet others from distance and avoid physical contact
  • Try to avoid eating or drinking in the dialysis centre
  • Reduce bringing newspapers, tablets (or comparable) 
  • Don’t share newspapers (or comparable) or leave them behind for others
  • When sneezing and coughing, cover your nose or mouth with your elbow or a paper tissue