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COVID-19 and solid organ transplant

News and resources for organ procurement organizations and transplant hospitals about COVID-19

Data

Current state of organ donation and transplantation

This data visualization shows high-level data on transplants, deceased donors recovered, patients added to the waitlist and patients temporarily moved to inactive waitlist status*. It is updated daily. Find detailed and localized data through the preceding month in the OPTN website’s data section.

*A temporary inactivation means that the transplant program has determined that a candidate is temporarily unavailable or unsuitable for transplantation and should not receive organ offers. The transplant program may reactivate the candidate at any time.

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All organ donation and transplant professionals

Register today: COVID Collaborative

OPTN launches COVID-focused interactive collaborative project; donation and transplant professionals will be able to share insights, resources

The emergence of COVID-19 has brought unique challenges to some of the standard processes and practices related to organ recovery and transplantation. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network strives to support its members as they continue to pursue the important work of organ recoveries and transplants during this time.

The OPTN launched an interactive forum on April 22 so that its members may engage on topics specific to donation and transplant during COVID-19. The OPTN COVID Collaborative operates on a secure online communication platform and allows donation and transplant professionals to collaboratively discuss, organize, catalog and archive the learnings and insights developed during the 2020 pandemic.

The site will:

  • Offer discussion forums, facilitated by collaborative improvement specialists
  • House and organize the member-driven information that results from this collaboration
  • Be available for the duration of COVID-19, or until the decision is made to close the project
  • Deploy national and regional webinars to support the spread of effective practices that emerge from site discussion

Participation in the COVID Collaborative is limited to individuals from OPTN member organizations. Registration is required. The scope of discussions will include OPTN member business and administrative processes related to the management of COVID crisis, and discussions will be moderated. Members with questions about policy during the pandemic should email member.questions@unos.org. Members with questions about policy compliance during the pandemic should email MQFeedback@unos.org.

Participants will receive an email with account and login information.

Do you have an idea for a webinar or other insights to share? Email covidcollab@unos.org.

For more information about the OPTN COVID Collaborative, email covidcollab@unos.org.

AST recommendations and guidance for organ donor testing

In response to inquiries regarding COVID-19, the American Society of Transplantation’s Infectious Disease Community of Practice has developed recommendations regarding organ donor testing. This guidance reflects the current state of knowledge and involves questions pertaining to screening and testing of living and deceased donors in the COVID era. Learn more here.

MPSC reviews

The OPTN Membership and Professional Standards Committee leadership has evaluated specific areas of monitoring that are raising particular concern within the community. In an effort to encourage transplant programs to use their clinical judgement about what is in the best interests of their patients without the added concern of strict compliance with OPTN obligations, the MPSC will implement several time-limited emergency changes to member monitoring. These include:

  • Suspending functional inactivity reviews through Sept. 30, 2020
  • Placing temporary hold on reviews of patient notification of extended waiting list inactivity and transplant program inactivation through Sept. 30, 2020

All updates to monitoring changes may be found in a supplement to the OPTN member evaluation plan on the OPTN compliance page.

View list of time-limited monitoring changes

This document serves as a quick-reference guide to all member monitoring changes implemented as a result of the pandemic. It will be regularly updated with any additional monitoring changes implemented during this event.

Site surveys

Site surveys will be conducted virtually at least through the end of June, and any member who is not able to participate in a survey at this time can request a delay by emailing MQFeedback@UNOS.org. The MPSC and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients will work together to make changes to the outcomes metrics that reflect the challenges of this unique environment. While we are determining how or whether to conduct reviews of this period, please continue to make the best clinical decisions regarding your donors and patients. We will provide updates as we have more specific information to share.

About MPSC and rationale for COVID-19 updates

The MPSC is a body of peers from within the donation and transplant community. It maintains membership criteria and monitors OPTN member compliance with OPTN membership criteria, OPTN bylaws and policies, and the OPTN Final Rule.

OPTN policies and requirements have not been suspended as a result of COVID-19. However, deviations from OPTN requirements will be evaluated in the context of the circumstances that have arisen due to this national crisis. The MPSC will look for a commitment to patient safety, stewardship of donated organs, and the rationale for the decisions that your transplant program or OPO make.

Reporting interruptions and issues

The OPTN is collecting information about challenges and issues created by the outbreak in order to evaluate further improvements or assistance that HHS, the OPTN and UNOS can provide. Please use this survey tool to report interruptions or issues. Please note that the link works in the Google Chrome browser, but it does not work in Internet Explorer.

Report COVID-19 issues

OPTN Board of Directors June 8 meeting now virtual. Agenda and public access information will be posted on OPTN events page.

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Organ procurement organizations

Organ matching guidance

To the extent practical, continue to follow the match run. If transportation systems become disrupted and an organ cannot be transported to a hospital on the match run, use the 861 bypass code and proceed to allocate as high on the match run as logistics allow. These decisions should be based on the availability of transportation options, not on DSA or regional boundaries.

Additional resources for organ procurement

Webinars

COVID-19: Organ Donation and Transplant Town Hall International Webinar #3

Organ transplant organizations convened for a third town-hall style webinar to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplant.

  1. Introduction
  2. Making Sense of the Tests
  3. Moving into the Future
  4. Impact of COVID-19 on Donor and Transplant Numbers: OPTN Update
  5. Emerging From Quarantine
  6. Surgical Prioritization in a Global Pandemic
  7. When Can Patients Return to Clinic/Phlebotomy
  8. Criteria to Remove Quarantine
  9. What to do with COVID-19 survivors in need of transplantation
  10. Donors with History of COVID-19
  11. Donor Testing: What will be the standard moving forward?
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