COVID-19 Resources

Webinar recording now available: “COVID-19: Past, Present and Future OPO Operations”

As OPOs build new processes in response to the pandemic, they are assessing staffing safety, workspace configuration and a range of operational processes. This webinar brings together four OPO CEOs to discuss issues related to organ procurement operations during COVID-19.

The pandemic has sparked new cooperation and collaboration between donation and transplant professionals. Brought to you by the OPTN COVID Collaborative, this webinar is intended for both donation and transplant audiences and offers insight into how OPOs are adapting in the wake of COVID-19.

Panel presenters include:
  • Charlie Alexander, president and CEO, The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland
  • Jennifer Prinz, COO, Donor Alliance
  • Kevin O’Connor, president and CEO, LifeCenter Northwest
  • Jeff Orlowski, president and CEO, LifeShare of Oklahoma

Find the full recording in the resources section on the OPTN COVID Collaborative site.

Not registered yet? Register now to get access to the COVID Collaborative.

Emergency policy actions available for retrospective public comment Aug. 4 – Oct. 1

In March and April, the OPTN Executive Committee approved several emergency actions related to COVID-19. These actions temporarily changed some OPTN policy requirements for candidate data reporting and kidney candidate waiting time accrual. Read more about these actions here. In addition, data collection was approved and implemented to provide OPOs the ability to report COVID-19 testing status and results. These emergency actions will be available for public comment during the next cycle: Aug. 4 – Oct. 1, 2020. We ask that the transplant community provide feedback during public comment on these emergency actions. All public comment proposals will be available here.

Lung transplant performed on a COVID-19 patient

For the first time, surgeons at Northwestern Medicine performed a double-lung transplant on a patient whose lungs were damaged by COVID-19. Learn more here.

Temporary changes to transplant program member monitoring as a result of the pandemic

Update: April 14, 2020
MPSC leadership has evaluated specific areas of monitoring that are raising particular concern within the community. In an effort to encourage transplant programs to use their clinical judgement about what is in the best interests of their patients without the added concern of strict compliance with OPTN obligations, the MPSC will implement several time-limited emergency changes to member monitoring. These include:
  • Suspending functional inactivity reviews through Sept. 30, 2020
  • Placing a temporary hold on reviews of patient notification of extended waiting list inactivity and transplant program inactivation through Sept. 30, 2020
All time-limited COVID-related updates to monitoring changes may be found in a supplement to the OPTN member evaluation plan on the OPTN Compliance page. This document serves as a quick-reference guide to all member monitoring changes implemented as a result of the pandemic. It will be regularly updated with any additional monitoring changes implemented during this event.

Kidney waiting time modification form for non-dialysis candidates now available

A new waiting time modification form has been posted in UNetSM for transplant programs to use to request modifications of kidney waiting time for any non-dialysis candidates who were unable to be registered due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The OPTN Executive Committee approved a process to adjust kidney waiting time for these candidates on April 3, 2020. More detail is included in the policy notice on the OPTN website. Transplant center staff may access the new form by navigating to WaitlistSM , selecting Resources on the top menu, then Forms/Tools on the left-hand menu. Documentation requirements and submission instructions are included within the form.

Organ donation and transplantation town hall to provide new updates and information about COVID-19

On April 13, transplant organizations from around the world continue their partnership to create a second educational webinar for the organ donation and transplantation communities. Presenters will share experiences to date and respond to questions about the impact of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplantation. Registration was limited to 1,000 participants and is now full. A recording will be available for viewing Tues., April 14, on the UNOS COVID-19 resources page.

For parents: COVID-19 Q&A with organ failure and transplant experts

Transplant Families, in partnership with several pediatric transplant centers and professional organizations, will host a COVID-19 question and answer session Wed., April 15 at 6:30 p.m. EDT to help address parental concerns about the impact of COVID-19 on the pediatric transplant community. Parents may ask questions during the session or send them in advance to Providers, please share this link to registration with your patients' parents.

COVID-19 and kidney transplant patients: Get the facts, save a life webinar

American Association of Kidney Patients, in partnership with American Society of Transplantation and American Society of Transplant Surgeons, will host a webinar Fri., April 10 at 3 p.m. EDT. The webinar will address important information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on kidney transplant recipients and individuals waiting for kidney transplantation. Registration for the live webinar is limited to 2,500, but a recording will be available afterward. Learn more and register here.

New resources

National transplant data visualization
The UNOS data visualization tool includes two new tabs that show transplants performed by week and deceased donors recovered by week. The tool also now allows users to sort by geographic area.

UNOS COVID-19 and Solid Organ Transplant