UNOS collaborated with eight global transplant organizations and societies on four COVID-19 organ donation and transplant town hall webinars that have received more than 25,000 views.
Global organ donation and transplantation organizations acted swiftly to share real-world experiences.
As COVID-19 cases began increasing globally, conversations among health care providers about the pandemic’s potential impact on transplant started to emerge.
Within a few days, organ donation and transplant communities from around the world assembled to collaborate on a webinar series sharing real-world, global experiences for the organ donation and transplant community. Along with United Network for Organ Sharing, participating organizations included:
- American Society of Transplantation
- Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
- American Society of Transplant Surgeons
- North American Transplant Coordinators Organization
- United Network for Organ Sharing
- Canadian Society of Transplantation
- European Society of Transplantation
- International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
- The Transplant Society
The societies launched their first live, collaborative webinar “COVID-19: Organ Donation and Transplant Town Hall,” on March 23, and the 1,000 available seats filled up within a few hours. Collaboration continued over the following weeks with three additional webinars, including the most recent webinar on May 11, covering topics ranging from:
- Presentation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention
- Getting to transplant
- Operational issues
- Screening donors and candidates
- Protecting the workforce
- Ethical issues
The societies aren’t done yet, with future plans to produce more collaborative webinars on navigating COVID-19, as well as topics unrelated to the pandemic.
At the 2020 American Transplant Congress, UNOS and OPTN researchers presented insights of U.S. transplant hospitals using social media campaigns to identify potential living donors.
Despite a decade since a 2007 fatal plane crash involving a University of Michigan transplant team and pilots, there remain no federal standards regulating air and ground transportation of organ recovery personnel.
Staff and members collaborated to create emergency policy and IT changes to protect patients and keep the system nimble during the COVID-19 pandemic.