City Of Tulsa Helping Dialysis Patients Get Treatment During Blizzard

Friday, February 4th 2011, 9:30 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – Treacherous neighborhood roads are still making it tough for many to get out and about and for some it's turning into a life-threatening situation.

"Very tricky, very tricky. Dangerous and everything yeah," William Patterson said.

William Patterson is carting precious cargo. His passenger, Florence Potts, is on dialysis. Her family says if she hadn't made it to the doctor Friday, she could have been in some real trouble.

"She has to get there. It's medically necessary that she had to get to the doctor," Eli Potts, Florence's grandson, said. "And we're lucky that The Lift was running today."

"They said they missed one day of dialysis this week already. And if we didn't show up today they were going to have to call EMSA to take them to the emergency room," Patterson said.

City officials say dozens of dialysis patients have flooded emergency lines, because they couldn't get to their treatments.  The Metropolitan Medical Response System launched a multi-agency task force to get patients safely on the road. They've done 90 runs, transporting 70 patients.

"You need to contact your treatment center and they will determine where in your treatment you are and how long you can wait for service," Johna Easley, Metro Medical Response System, said.

Critical patients are getting served first. Ms. Florence was picked up in the morning and dropped off safely that evening.  This family says they couldn't be more grateful.

"It's a service, a great public service offered to the community," Eli Potts said. "And Tulsa is lucky to have them."

"I look at it this way. If that was my mother or father that needed go to dialysis I would hope somebody would do it for them," Patterson said. "So that's why I go ahead and do it."

If you need to get to dialysis and can't call your medical provider and they will work with the city to get you to your treatments.