COVID-19: Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation
During this time of unprecedented uncertainty, ourselves and our donation partners are concerned about the safety and well-being of our donor families, colleagues, transplant patients, partners, and the many friends who make up our vibrant multi-state family.
Our hearts are with those who have been affected personally by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as the many communities around the world that are facing extreme measures in the attempt to slow its spread.
Since we cannot all be together in-person right now, we have been taking an online approach to honoring donors, recipients, and the incredible medical professionals continuing to risk their lives to heal others. We still encourage you to register your decision to be a donor as an act of kindness you can do from home while social distancing.
With our collective attention focused on treatment and prevention of COVID-19, transplant candidates, recipients and their families and caregivers may be wondering how this coronavirus affects organ, eye and tissue transplants and donation.
As researchers learn more daily about COVID-19, the donation and transplant community continues to respond and update practice to prioritize the health and safety for all. According to the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from an organ donation is low – donors are being screened for coronavirus symptoms and exposure to protect the health of patients waiting for transplants. Anyone with a compromised immune system, recipients and those around them, their families and caregivers, should take extra care to avoid exposure to COVID-19. More information and resources are listed below.
Resources for Transplant Recipients, Candidates, Families and Caregivers
With the way things are rapidly changing day-to-day, misinformation can easily spread. We encourage everyone to rely on trusted information sources to stay up to date. Here are some of the sources we turn to for answers during these uncertain times.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC is the nation’s health protection agency. Find the most up-to-date U.S. guidance on COVID-19 prevention and treatment here.
American Society of Transplantation (AST)
AST is dedicated to advancing transplantation through research, education, and advocacy. Find the answers to frequently asked questions from transplant candidates and recipients regarding COVID-19.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
UNOS manages the federal government’s organ transplant system by coordinating with the many transplant and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the U.S. Find the latest guidance on COVID-19 for patients, medical professionals, transplant hospitals, and OPOs.
Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)
The AOPO is the professional association of the 58 federally-designated organ procurement organizations. Find out the latest Coronavirus precautions for organ procurement organization professionals.
World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO is an international organization that directs the response to global health threats within the United Nations and their partners. Find the latest COVID-19 information, guidance, travel advice, and research here.
National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
Coronavirus has not affected every region in the U.S. at the same rate, and states and localities may have issued different directives. Find your local health department to find information for your town/city.
Thank you all for being partners in the lifesaving Donate Life mission, and helping make organ, eye and tissue donation and transplant possible.