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COVID-19 updates: April 18, 2020

COVID-19 updates: April 18, 2020

Webinar hosted by New York organ donation and transplant professionals recording now available

New York transplant hospitals and OPOs collaborated on an April 17 webinar to share experiences and solutions to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recording of the 90-minute webinar is available here.

Topics covered include:

  • Benefits of statewide transplant communication during a health crisis
  • Development of home care strategies, including telehealth, for transplant candidates, recipients and living donors
  • Strategies for maintaining COVID-19-free units during a surge
  • Complex staffing issues that arose with inpatient and ambulatory care areas
  • Strategies that will continue post-pandemic

New donor data collection for COVID-19 testing and results

New data collection elements will be added to DonorNet® April 21 to capture information regarding donor COVID-19 testing. OPOs can record whether testing was performed on the donor, and will be able to report more than one test result. Entering this information is not mandatory. Details regarding the COVID-19 donor testing data collection, including examples of which type of tests will fall into which specimen type category, as well as details around entering and editing the testing, and requirements to send electronic organ offer notifications, can be found in the online help documentation within DonorNet. More information about the implementation is available in this system notice.

Reactivation process for multiple kidney transplant candidates

Beginning April 22, kidney transplant programs will be able to simultaneously perform reactivation of multiple candidates whose current candidate status is “Temporarily Inactive (7),” with inactive reason “COVID-19 Precaution.” Details and directions will be sent via email to staff at all kidney transplant programs and posted on Secure Enterprise. In addition, step-by-step instructions will be available in online help in UNetSM.

Programs also have the ability to perform temporary inactivation of multiple transplant candidates simultaneously for the reason of “COVID-19 Precaution,” which was released March 27, 2020. Together, this set of tools prevents centers from getting offers they can’t use and streamlines the offer process.

New resources

Transplant patient webinars and FAQs: COVID-19 news and resources for patients now available at

Summary of COVID-19 policy actions: The OPTN Executive Committee has approved several actions relating to OPTN policies and bylaws to help members focus needed resources in the short term on essential clinical services.

Organ donation and transplant joint society webinar: Watch a recording of the second “COVID-19: Organ Donation and Transplant Town Hall” webinar, held April 13.

OPTN committee meetings

All OPTN committee meetings through the end of May have been converted to virtual meetings. Meetings later than that date are being evaluated.

Stay current

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

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