People with chronic renal disease are approximately 19 times more likely to die if they develop flu than individuals who have no other underlying health condition. Despite this, only 53% of people with kidney disease had their flu vaccine and the number of admissions to hospital and intensive care for illness caused by flu were higher than in previous years.
That’s why we’re working with the NHS and Public Health England to encourage everyone with kidney disease to stay well this winter. This includes getting your free flu vaccine and to do simple and easy things to make sure you’re as well as can be over the winter months.
Here are our top tips to stay well:
- Don’t wait – if you feel like you might be coming down with something don’t wait for it to get worse – speak to your pharmacist before it gets serious.
- Plan ahead – make sure you have any medication you need for over the Christmas period when some surgeries and pharmacies will be closed.
- Get the flu jab – if you are on dialysis or have had a transplant you should have the flu vaccine. It is not live; you cannot get the flu by having it. Because you have kidney disease you get it free.
- Keep warm – people with kidney disease often feel the cold more which is why it is more important than ever that you keep warm and heat your home to at least 18c in winter. Find out more about whether you might be able to get help with your heating here.
- Look after yourself – do all that you can to avoid getting a cold; rest, avoid getting dehydrated and eat regular hot meals. Remember that if you do get a cold some over the counter medicines like ibuprofen are not suitable for most people with kidney disease.