COVID-19 updates: April 7, 2020

COVID-19 updates: April 7, 2020

COVID data: New functionality added to transplant data visualization

UNOS has enhanced the data visualization tool on the UNOS COVID-19 page. Two new tabs show transplants performed by week and deceased donors recovered by week. The tool also now allows users to sort by geographic area.

Maintaining waiting time for inactive candidates

Your program may decide that some of your individual transplant candidates should not receive organ offers at this time due to issues relating to COVID-19. In those cases, you have the option of either temporarily inactivating them or temporarily setting your screening criteria to make them ineligible for organ offers. The option you choose may depend on the organ type, the candidate needs, and your assessment of their current medical circumstances.

All candidates listed for kidney, kidney-pancreas, pancreas and pancreas islet, as well as lung candidates less than 12 years old:

  • Continue to accrue unlimited waiting time while at an inactive status.
  • If these candidates are made temporarily inactive using the new “COVID-19 precaution” reason, they will have no interruption in waiting time priority when they are reactivated.
  • Additional details about this option were addressed in the March 18 edition of UNOS’ COVID-19 updates.

Candidates for heart, lung (at least 12 years old), liver, intestine and VCA organs:

  • Do not accrue waiting time while in inactive status per OPTN Policy 3.6.A: Waiting Time for Inactive Candidates.
  • To allow them to continue to accrue waiting time but temporarily render them unable to receive organ offers, programs may adjust their organ acceptance criteria instead of using the COVID-19 inactivation code using the following instructions. The instructions below are for these organ types only.

Candidates can be listed at the appropriate medical urgency status, and transplant programs can eliminate organ offers for these candidates by ensuring that they are screened from matches. The recommendation is to set the acceptable donor age acceptance criteria to 98 years (minimum) and 99 years (maximum). Please do not enter mutually exclusive acceptance criteria ranges, such as 0 minimum to 0 maximum, as doing so will impact quality reports used to identify potential data entry errors.

View of input fields for minimum and maximum acceptable donor age.

Transplant programs that have already inactivated a candidate by updating the medical urgency status may opt to reactivate their candidates as they normally would through existing policy requirements or exception requests, and then set the donor age acceptance criteria to eliminate organ offers.

Temporary changes to requirements related to submitting living donor follow-up and transplant recipient follow-up forms

The required submissions of living donor follow-up (LDF), organ-specific transplant recipient follow-up (TRF), and recipient malignancy (PTM) forms due during this time have been suspended. This provision will be backdated to apply to all forms due beginning March 13, 2020, the date of the Presidential declaration of an emergency. It will expire September 30, 2020, although the Executive Committee will review and may extend the time frame if needed. Recipient death and graft failure will still need to be reported in accordance with policy, though the deadlines were extended from 14 to 30 days. Living donor deaths will still need to be reported in the Protecting Patient Safety Portal in UNetSM.

Local recovery of organs strongly advised

To protect the health and safety of all involved in organ recovery and transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic, UNOS reminds 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. This is not a requirement but has been recommended not only by UNOS but also by AST, ASTS, and AOPO.

Stay current

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

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