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COVID-19 updates: March 27, 2020

COVID-19 updates: March 27, 2020

COVID-specific organ offer refusal codes for transplant programs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some transplant programs may want to refuse certain organ offers for reasons related to the candidate, the donor, or OPO or transplant hospital operational issues. For this purpose, beginning March 25, three new refusal codes may be used for COVID-19-related reasons:

  • Refusal code 840: COVID-19 candidate-related reason
  • Refusal code 841: COVID-19 donor-related reason
  • Refusal code 842: COVID-19 OPO or transplant hospital operational issue

Future evaluation of the impact of this emergency to both the national transplant system and individual transplant programs and OPOs will rely on complete and accurate recording of organ offers refusals related to the pandemic (testing limitations, candidate risk, etc.).

Temporary COVID-19 precaution inactivation for multiple kidney transplant candidates

Kidney transplant programs now have the ability to perform temporary inactivation of multiple transplant candidates simultaneously for the reason of “COVID-19 Precaution.” The transplant program may reactivate the candidate at any time, with no loss of prior waiting time. Process directions were included in an e-mail sent March 27 to staff at all kidney transplant programs and are posted in a system notice in Secure Enterprise.

Special pathogens update

If an organ donor tests positive for COVID-19, they should be reported in the UNet Improving Patient Safety portal as a potential donor-derived disease transmission event. Similarly, if an organ donor tests positive for carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae or influenza, they should also be reported. More information available here.

Protecting the health of transplant clinicians and procurement teams

Protecting the health of transplant clinicians, including procurement teams and OPO staff, is critical to maintaining the function of the transplant system and providing patients with critically needed transplant services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is important to protecting your own team, and the other teams that you come in contact with when recovering organs.

Healthcare personnel should follow CDC interim infection prevention and control recommendations to reduce their exposure when caring for patients, and should rigorously self-monitor for symptoms and self-quarantine when necessary to prevent spreading infections to other personnel.

Encouraging local recovery

Local organ recovery reduces cross-exposure of teams from multiple organizations, and reduces transportation requirements. UNOS encourages transplant programs to consider local recovery options as an important tool to continue organ transplant in a challenging environment.

Stay current

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

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