19 Mar 2020: OPTN/UNOS Response Questionnaire
The OPTN/UNOS has made the COVID-19 Response Questionnaire link available without going through DonorNet. This can be used for reporting ANY issues related to the ” affect your organization’s ability to conduct routine organ recovery, transplantation, or care of living donors or transplant patients. Responding to this questionnaire will assist the OPTN in evaluating the performance of the national transplant system during this national emergency. The information you provide will be shared with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to identify potential areas for assistance.” It is IMPERATIVE reporting is done in real time in order to allow the OPTN to provide support for the life-saving work that is being affected by this outbreak.
- No policies from the OPTN have been implemented around testing of donors.However, guidance was provided yesterday via email and website in the event of a transportation system disturbance. The direction allows OPO’s logistical judgement in using bypass codes and local allocation if necessary to ensure an organ is transplanted.
- Donors are being tested more consistently; although there is still discrepancy around testing every donor vs testing only those with documented exposures.Turn around times are variable but at this point no general discussions of this creating an issue with ICU availability of beds/ventilators.
- A consideration for OPO Administration who are testing every donor is that many hospital policies have been written that a patient will be placed in isolation while awaiting Coronavirus testing. This of course was written based on the fact the patients being tested were symptomatic or had an exposure. With donors, this likely is not the case, so decisions have to be made in conjunction with the hospital administration as to whether they will isolate while awaiting donor results. At a time when PPE is scarce, this is a serious consideration
- Transplant Centers
- OPTN policy and guidance was updated for transplant centers yesterday. Policy changes were made around data reporting for transplant centers. Transplant centers now have an inactive code for “COVID-19 precautions” that can be used for individual patients or for the entire program. They shared details on the OPTN website and via email yesterday. There is also a link here.
- The list continues to grow of centers/programs that will not recover organs without testing being done on the donor regardless of the exposure risk.