According to World Health Organization data, 1,500,000 patients live with a donated organ worldwide. Although globally there remains a scarcity of organs. In the US, 7,600 patients die annually waiting for an organ transplant.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern that transplant recipients may be more susceptible to infection and increased viral burden. In addition, hospitals may not have staff and equipment resources to care for recipients after transplantation. A pronounced negative effect on organ donation and transplantation is anticipated.
The objective of a report published in the Lancet was to quantify the effect of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplantation in France and the USA. Data analysis from Public Health France and the Center for System Science and Engineering, USA, noted a strong temporal association between the increase in COVID-19 infections and a striking reduction in overall solid-organ transplantation procedures. The overall reduction of deceased donor transplantation since the outbreak began was 90.6 per cent in France and 51.1 per cent in the USA.
Detailed cartographic mapping of trends in organ donation will enable targeted intervention when the COVID-19 burden lifts. Mapping will help public health leaders and transplant organisations to identify areas where transplants have not recovered well and where support is needed.