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COVID-19 update: March 18, 2022

COVID-19 update: March 18, 2022

Resources for members to share with patients

We encourage you to copy the patient-friendly information section below and use it in your communications with patients about COVID-19 prevention.

As our clinical understanding of COVID-19 precautions continues to evolve, it is important for transplant programs to communicate proactively with transplant candidates and recipients on ways to prevent COVID-19 transmission and to monitor themselves for potential exposure. Many patients are seeking guidance on vaccination, in light of new recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination for immunocompromised individuals.

New COVID-19 data element added to Center STAR files

A new ‘COVID information for Donor’ data collection field provides transplant hospitals a standard definition for a COVID-19 positive donor based on test COVID-19 results collected in DonorNet®. The new data collection element is:

  • COVID_POS_DON (CHAR(1)): Donor tested positive for COVID

While all COVID-19 testing history is provided in Center STAR files for in-depth analysis, the new data element alleviates the need to create and calculate an ad hoc definition of COVID-19 positivity, and lets transplant hospitals quickly filter their data on a single data element. Center STAR files are accessible in Secure Enterprise℠. Learn more about Center STAR files.

 


Reminders

Providers: use the COVID-19 Therapeutics Locator to help patients

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a national map displaying public locations that have received shipments of COVID-19 therapeutics granted an Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These therapies require a prescription, and the locator is intended for provider use. Patients should not contact locations directly unless instructed to do so by their healthcare provider. You can view the locator map here.

Reporting COVID-19-related cause of death for transplant candidates and recipients

  • Transplant programs reporting a cause of death for a transplant candidate or recipient in WaitlistSM or TIEDI® should select “Infection: Viral – COVID-19,” if the program believes to the best of its knowledge that COVID-19 was an underlying cause of death or a significant cause of death. This code was established in April 2020 to facilitate assessment of the disease’s impact on the candidate and recipient populations.

NIH updates COVID-19 treatment guidelines

Winter 2022 public comment closes Wed., March 23

  • Reinstatement of updates to candidate data during the COVID-19 emergency is open for public comment. Read all the public comment proposals and provide feedback on the OPTN website.

The latest data on organ donation and transplant in the U.S.

  • Find high-level data on transplants, deceased donors recovered, patients added to the waitlist and patients temporarily moved to inactive waitlist status.

Questions

  • For COVID-19 related policy and operational questions, email member.questions@unos.org
  • For information and updates about the status of in-person vs. virtual OPTN committee meetings, check the OPTN calendar of events.

Patient-friendly information for members to share

To help you share updates and resources about COVID-19 prevention with your patients, here is information you can copy and add to your regular communications. Find more information at TransplantLiving.org.


Transplant patients: Looking for answers to questions about COVID-19 and transplant?

 Go to TransplantLiving.org for the latest news and resources, including:

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • What does it mean to be “immunocompromised”?
  • What COVID-19 treatments are available for those who are immunosuppressed?
  • As a transplant recipient, do I qualify for a fourth dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or a Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Vaccine information

  • FDA authorizes new monoclonal antibody for treatment of COVID-19 that retains activity against Omicron variant
  • American Society of Transplantation (AST) updates COVID-19: Vaccine FAQ Sheet
  • National Institute of Health (NIH) statement on the prophylaxis Evusheld

Webinars

  • The COVID-19 Vaccine: What does it mean for our transplant recipient children? Presented by Transplant Families and the American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • COVID-19 and Transplant: Patient questions answered. Hosted by UNOS Chief Medical Officer, David Klassen, M.D.

Spanish language resources

  • Information about COVID-19 vaccines for Hispanic patients from the American Society of Transplantation (AST)

This information is not intended as specific health advice. If you have more detailed questions, contact your medical provider.

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