A new study by the Duke University School of Medicine showed it is safe to transplant an organ from a patient who died of COVID-19 into the body of an organ recipient without transferring the virus.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, organ waste reached an all-time high in the United States because it was unknown whether organs from COVID-19 patients could be transplanted into recipients’ bodies without infecting them with the virus.
Now, researchers at Duke have evidence that it is safe to transfer solid organs from a COVID patient to an organ recipient, as long as the organ is not a lung that has the virus in its base.
As long as the donor was not suffering from abnormal blood clotting or severe hyperinflammatory COVID-19, the organs are safe, say the researchers. To determine the results, the team analyzed six abdominal organ transplants performed in four recipients, and in no combination of organ transplant among the patients was COVID-19 spread.
Organ donations from COVID-19 patients were only considered if the patient had been diagnosed 20 or more days prior to the transplant, and doctors must still assess a number of factors, including the donor’s cause of death, before approving a transplant.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PENN MEDICINE
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