Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 changed organ transplantation. All elective cases at our institution were postponed for approximately 3 months. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services considers organ transplant surgery a Tier 3b case, along with other high acuity procedures, recommending no postponement. Our transplant program collaborated with our transplant infectious disease colleagues to create a protocol that would ensure both patient and staff safety during these unprecedented times. Methods: The living donor program was electively placed on hold until we had the proper protocols in place. Preoperative COVID-19 testing was required for all recipients and living donors. All patients underwent a rapid nasopharyngeal swab test. After testing negative by nasopharyngeal swab, recipients also underwent a low-radiation-dose computed tomography scan to rule out any radiographic changes suggestive of a COVID-19 infection. Results: We performed 8 living donor and 9 deceased donor kidney transplants. In comparison, we performed 10 living donor and 4 deceased donor transplants during the same time period in the previous year. Our testing protocol enabled efficient use of all suitable organs offered during the viral pandemic. No recipients or living donors tested positive or developed COVID-19. Conclusions: Creation of a viral testing protocol, developed in conjunction with our infectious disease team, permitted kidney transplantation to be performed safely, and the number of deceased donor transplants increased considerably without adversely affecting our outcomes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2021|
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