Dialysis patients in New Jersey and New York City were about 20% less likely to visit an emergency department or be hospitalized in the week after Hurricane Sandy if they received dialysis before the storm, according to a study by the Department of Health and Human Services published Friday in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The patients also were 28% less likely to die within 30 days of the 2012 hurricane. “This study provides the first evidence that receiving early dialysis in advance of potential disasters helps protect health and saves lives for dialysis patients and suggests that early dialysis should become a standard practice and protective measure,” said Nicole Lurie, HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response and one of the study’s authors. The authors recommend that dialysis facilities conduct disaster drills to test emergency and communications plans and assess the staff’s ability to coordinate early dialysis in advance of an emergency.