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COVID-19 updates: April 1, 2020

COVID-19 updates: April 1, 2020

UNOS, ASTS, AOPO and AST all urge local recovery of organs

The donation and transplant community has expressed unified support for the surgical recovery of organs by local teams. UNOS, ASTS, AOPO and AST released statements regarding this important step in reducing exposure to COVID-19, safeguarding the health of clinicians and facilitating the continuation of organ transplant in this challenging environment.


“To protect the health and safety of all involved in organ recovery and transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic, UNOS urges members to arrange for the surgical recovery of organs by local teams whenever possible, including by recovery surgeons who may be available within the donor hospital.”


“The best way to prevent COVID-19 spread by a donor organ recovery team is to AVOID TRAVEL BY THE TEAM. ASTS strongly recommends that local teams be requested to recover organs and ship them to the recipient center for transplantation.”


“AOPO urges OPOs to arrange for the surgical recovery of organs by local teams whenever possible consistent with the recent [UNOS] statement and the CMS requirements for the approval of recovery surgeons and the AOPO Standard for Surgeon Qualifications. This would include prioritizing the use of recovery surgeons that may be available within the donor hospital.”


“[AST] strongly believe[s] that it is in the best interest of organ donation and transplant team members to limit the recovery of organs to local teams, unless there are extenuating reasons for the transplanting team to perform the recovery.”

New option to report cause of death for transplant candidates and recipients

A new cause of death code, “Infection: Viral – Covid-19,” has been added to WaitlistSM and TIEDI® to allow transplant program staff to more accurately report data. This new code will allow for better assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on transplant candidates and recipients. Process directions were emailed April 1 to staff at all transplant programs and posted in Secure Enterprise.

SRTR extends data review period deadline from April 30 to May 31

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SRTR is extending the Data Review Period deadline from April 30 to May 31. This allows transplant programs and OPOs more time to review their data for accuracy during this difficult time. Given the rapidly evolving situation, the deadline may be extended again in the future, and SRTR will work closely with HRSA and OPTN leadership to make that determination. Data Integrity Reports and program-specific report drafts for transplant programs and Donor Level Data sheets and OPO-specific report drafts for OPOs are available to review from April 1 to May 31, until 11:59 PM EDT. Verify data and make changes in UNet or DonorNet®. UNOS, the SR and HRSA are discussing modifications to the performance metrics contained in the program-specific and OPO-specific reports and will share more information as it becomes available.

New resources

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

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