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COVID-19 update: Oct. 9, 2020

COVID-19 update: Oct. 9, 2020

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

On Oct. 28, two new diagnosis codes for lung candidates and two new diagnosis codes for heart candidates will be added to UNetSM. Additionally, there will be 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.

On Oct. 28, a separate notice will be posted with additional information about the changes.

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

OPTN Board of Directors meeting to be held virtually in December

Originally scheduled to be held in person Dec. 6 to 7, the board meeting will now take place in a virtual format. Further meeting details and a meeting agenda will be posted later to the OPTN website.


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

Current state of organ donation and transplantation: The latest data

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.

Donor data collection for COVID-19 testing

Since April 21, data collection elements have been added to DonorNet® to capture information regarding donor COVID-19 testing under the “Infectious Diseases” tab. OPOs can record whether testing was performed on the donor, and have the ability to report more than one test result. Read more about COVID-19 donor testing data collection.


  • OPTN committee meetings will be held virtually through Oct. 31. A list of all scheduled meetings will be updated on the OPTN calendar of events webpage to reflect this change.
  • The Nov. 5 meeting of the OPTN Policy Oversight Committee will be held virtually.
For COVID-19 related policy and operational questions, as well as questions about any of the above-listed reminders, please email [email protected].

Stay current

We will continue to update the UNOS COVID-19 resources page as guidance is developed and enhanced.

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