Surgeons Explore Use of COVID Donor Organs for Transplant

By Reuters Staff

March 24, 2022

(Reuters) - Organ donation from dying donors with current or previous COVID-19 infection is likely safe, transplant teams from the United States and Italy will report next month at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases meeting.

Both teams are expected to outline their experimental protocols for use of such organs. Dr. Cameron Wolfe and Dr. Emily Eichenberger, from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, will advise that lungs or intestines should only be used if the donor last tested positive for the virus more than 20 days prior, while other organs can be transplanted safely if the donor was not dying of COVID-19 or having excessive blood clotting, the conference organizers said in a statement.

Professor Paolo Grossi of the University of Insubria in Italy and colleagues have transplanted livers, hearts, and kidneys from SARS-CoV-2-positive donors. "As we move deeper into 2022, the transplant community will undoubtedly learn more about using various organs from donors with recent or active COVID-19," Grossi wrote in an advance copy of his presentation seen by Reuters.

"Although the published data are encouraging, the safety of deceased donors in these scenario is (unproven) given the small sample size of the published studies," he said.

processing....