Society News

ASN Society News - January 2010

ASN Responds to Disaster in Haiti

Friday, January 29, 2010

Following the massive earthquake in Haiti Tuesday, January 12, the American Society of Nephrology immediately reached out to the domestic and international nephrology community to coordinate relief efforts. Led by its Disaster Relief Task Force, ASN:

  • Established daily conference calls for the nephrology community to
  • coordinate relief efforts.
  • Developed a protocol for crush injury that is currently being employed in Haiti
  • to reduce the incidence of acute kidney injury from rhabdomyolysis.
  • Identified over 70 member volunteers to travel to the region and provide care.
  • Coordinated supplies generously donated by dialysis providers and industry
  • to furnish medical providers with the most urgently needed items including dialyzers, dialysis machines, fluids, and catheters, sodium polysytrene sulfonate, hand held portable systems for measurement of renal function, and serum electrolytes.
  • Created a supply chain to rapidly deliver the items of greatest need.
  • Supported the health care infrastructure in the region.

Nearly three weeks after the earthquake, demand for emergency nephrology relief in Haiti is decreasing. Full-time relief organizations—both governmental and non-governmental—are beginning long-term recovery efforts. Continuing to monitor the situation in collaboration with partner organizations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, ASN remains available to direct these organizations to available nephrologists or additional supplies if a need is identified.

ASN thanks Didier Portilla, MD, Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN, Dialysis Advisory Group Chair Rajnish Mehrotra, MD, FASN, and Councilor Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN for their tremendous facilitation of communication, collaboration, and delivery of supplies and care. Moving forward, the ASN Disaster Relief Task Force, chaired by Dr. Portilla, will conduct an analysis of ASN's unprecedented response to further enhance the Society's capacity to address disasters both at home and abroad. ASN also recognizes Sociedad Latinoamericana de Nefrologia y Hipertension President Ricardo Correa-Rotter, MD, and Sociedad de la Dominicana Republica President Sandra Rodriguez, MD, who were instrumental in the life-saving efforts. In addition, ASN thanks Raymond Vanholder, MD, PhD, and Bernard Jaar, MD, FASN, for their service on the ground in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

At this time, ASN encourages its members and the rest of the community to contribute directly to entities specifically dedicated to providing disaster relief to Haiti, such as the American Red Cross or the William J. Clinton Foundation. Additional donations of supplies or other commodities may be registered at the Center for International Disaster Information at For questions relating to Haiti relief efforts, please contact ASN Policy Associate Rachel Shaffer at 202-416-0660 or

How Can I Help?

ASN encourages members interested in sharing skills or providing medical resources to Haitian earthquake survivors to register with the Center for International Disaster Information.

Additional donations can be contributed to entities specifically dedicated to providing disaster relief to Haiti, such as the American Red Cross or the William J. Clinton Foundation, or other organizations listed on the Interaction website.

More Information

U.S. Department of State's Agency for International Development