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COVID-19 update: Nov. 6, 2020

COVID-19 update: Nov. 6, 2020

Site surveys continue to be conducted virtually

A reminder that site surveys are still virtual. Member Quality staff are happy to talk with you about how to prepare for a virtual survey. Any member who is not able to participate in a survey at this time can request a delay by emailing [email protected].

Data submission requirements update

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, as of Oct. 1, more than 70 percent of the follow-up forms listed below have been voluntarily completed during the period in which the data submission relaxation has been in place in response to COVID-19:

  • Living donor follow-up form (LDF)
  • Organ-specific transplant recipient follow-up form (TRF)
  • Recipient malignancy form (PTM)

This data is critical to understanding transplant outcomes, and to determining any needed additions and/or revisions to data collection for potential donors and recipients with a history of COVID-19. We encourage members to enter their data and provide as complete a report as circumstances allow to help us continue to address the data needs of the OPTN as the pandemic evolves.

Read more about the COVID-19 emergency policy package and the actions the OPTN has taken to help members protect patient safety and access to transplant during COVID-19.


COVID-19 organ failure in thoracic candidate listings added Oct. 28

On Oct. 28, two new diagnosis codes for lung candidates and two new diagnosis codes for heart candidates were added to UNetSM. Additionally, there was an update to an existing code available for heart candidates. The purpose of adding these options is to specify when COVID-19 related organ failure is the cause for lung and heart candidate listings.

The initial proposed action, addressing lung candidate diagnoses, was published for special public comment from Aug. 31 through Oct 1. During public comment, the OPTN Heart Transplantation Committee recommended that heart candidate diagnoses be added to those originally proposed for lung candidates. The OPTN Board of Directors approved the proposal during an Oct. 8 conference call.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

OPTN committee meetings to be held virtually through 2020

OPTN committee meetings will now be held virtually through Dec. 31. A list of all scheduled meetings will be updated on the OPTN calendar of events webpage to reflect this change. For questions and requests, please email [email protected].


American Journal of Transplantation focuses on COVID-19

November’s issue of the AJT focuses on COVID‐19, showcasing many of the decisions made, boundaries pushed, practices changed, models generated, and lessons learned as the transplant world adapted to the new normal. Topics include:

  • Risks of kidney transplant in COVID-19 era
  • Unforeseen consequences of the pandemic
  • Strategies for liver transplant during COVID-19: Experience in France
  • Waitlist and recipient mortality: Experience in England
  • Kidney transplantation: Experience in Spain
  • Transplant recipient outcomes at a large urban centers in the U.S.
  • Outcomes in critically ill transplant recipients in the U.S.
  • Organ donation during the pandemic
  • Donor and recipient screening

ISHLT update on COVID-19 and challenges in cardiothoracic transplantation

Developments in the treatment and management of COVID-19 have evolved at a lightning pace since the start of the pandemic. Join ISHLT on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 2 – 3 p.m. EDT on ISHLTv for a webinar update on how COVID-19 has impacted transplantation, patients with heart and lung failure, and the ISHLT community. The webinar will discuss various aspects of the pandemic on heart and lung transplantation, using a case-based approach.

Patient information

Navigating the coronavirus pandemic is difficult for everyone, but brings special challenges for transplant patients. Our COVID-19 Transplant Living page has a variety of comprehensive resources for patients, including:

  • FAQs about important patient topics like lab tests and organ donor testing
  • Top OPTN patient services hotline questions
  • Recorded webinars for kidney patients and a Q&A for pediatric patients

The latest data: Current state of organ donation and transplantation

The waitlist snapshot is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Transplants by week and deceased donors recovered by week are updated every Monday. Check the data visualization tool on the UNOS COVID-19 resources page for more information.


For COVID-19 related policy and operational questions, email [email protected].

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