France and the United States, two countries hit hard by the novel coronavirus, have experienced a tremendous reduction in the number of organ donations and solid organ (kidney, liver, heart, and lung) transplant procedures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. By early April, transplant centers in both countries were conducting far fewer deceased donor transplants compared to just one month earlier, with the number of procedures dropping by 91% in France and 50% in the United States.
The international team of transplant scientists, including experts from the Perelman School of Medicine and Paris Transplant Group, attribute much of the overall decline to a steep reduction in the number of kidney transplants specifically. However, they also reported a substantial drop in the number of heart, lung and liver transplants. The analysis was published in The Lancet.
“Our findings point to the far-reaching and severe ripple effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on health care, including life-saving organ transplants,” says study co-author Peter Reese, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Penn. “Organs from deceased donors represent a time-limited opportunity, as they must be procured and used rapidly. However, in order to protect the safety of their patients, centers must now carefully vet all donors to ensure there is minimal risk of COVID-19.”
This story is by Mike Iorfino. Read more at Penn Medicine News.