To reduce the risk of accidental disease transmission, the OPTN/UNOS board of directors has approved policy changes on storage, use and disposal of vessels. The changes went into effect Feb. 1, 2012. Read about the changes in the policy notice from the November board meeting (pages 12-15).
- If procured vessels that are hepatitis C antibody positive and hepatitis B surface antigen positive are sent with an organ and then not used for that particular transplant procedure, you may not store them for later use. These unused vessels must be destroyed.
Packaging highlights (pay attention to the following important changes)
- When not packaged with an organ, vessels must be stored in a triple sterile barrier, one layer of which must be a rigid, sterile, sealed container.
- The rigid container and the vessel container must be labeled with all the information required on the UNOS standardized label. Access templates of vessel container labels in 2×5 and 2×4 formats. Your vendor can use these templates to prepare sterile labels.
- Both an internal and external label are required.
- Both stored and transported vessels must meet those labeling requirements.
The definition of “high risk” is changed to the U.S. Public Health Service guidance definition (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition).
- Infectious disease testing results are now required (previously, serology results were required).
- If you remove vessels from the triple sterile barrier, you must relabel before storing them.
- If your hospital uses or destroys vessels, you are required to report that action to UNOS. You can use this vessel transplantation/destruction information sheet. Complete and fax this sheet to the UNOS research department, (804) 782-4809, or send by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We recommend that you submit this information sheet monthly. It includes all information needed for the OPTN to track the disposition of extra vessels recovered by an OPO and sent to transplanting centers.
Find up-to-date vessel resources on the patient safety page.