Background: Although many transplant programs have been forced to suspend living donor transplants due to the emergence of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), there are relatively few real-time databases to assess center-level transplant activities. We aimed to delineate the actual impact of COVID-19 on living donor transplant programs and the resumption process in Japan. Methods: In a nationwide survey, questionnaires were sent to 32 liver transplant programs that had performed at least more than one case of living donor liver transplantation in 2019 and 132 kidney transplant programs that had performed more than one living donor kidney transplantation in 2018. Results: Thirty-one (96.9%) and 125 (94.7%) liver and kidney transplant programs responded, respectively. In the early pandemic period, 67.7% (21/31) of liver programs and 29.8% (37/125) of kidney programs were able to maintain transplant activities similar to those during the pre-pandemic period. After temporal suspension, 58.1% of kidney programs resumed their transplant activity after the number of local COVID-19 cases peaked. Establishing institutional COVID-19 screening, triage, and therapeutic management protocols was mandatory to resume transplant activity for 64.5% and 67.7% of liver and kidney programs, respectively. In the future wave of COVID-19, 67.7% of liver programs would be affected by institutional COVID-19 intensive care unit-bound patient numbers, and 55.7% of kidney programs would stop if hospital-acquired severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection spreads. Conclusions: This nationwide survey revealed for the first time how living donor liver and kidney: transplant programs changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a country where living donor transplantations are predominant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases