Belgian Transplantation Society consensus meeting on COVID-19 (11-03-2020)

For organ-donors:

  • The BTS strongly recommends that every organ donor should be screened for COVID-19
  • Every Belgian Transplantation center should explore internally the practical possibilities for this screening
  • This screening might imply a delay in organizing the procurement procedure
  • This possible delay should be communicated by the transplantation centers to their collaborating regional hospitals
  • If screening is not possible (e.g. donor instability) or the screening results are not available in due time, organ allocation will be sent out without screening results. Otherwise, good donors could be missed.
  • Every accepting hospital has the final decision whether or not to accept an organ with the at that time available information, in this decision the urgency of the transplantation is balanced against the risk of transmission.

For organ-recipients:

  • When called for a transplantation, the BTS recommends that every organ recipient should be screened for COVID-19 when it is possible to delay the transplantation (or even procurement procedure) till the screening results are available.
  • When a patient is called in for a transplantation, usually a chest-Rx is performed. However CT-scan thorax is much more sensitive to detect early lung lesions. The BTS advices therefore to perform a CT-thorax in the immediate pretransplant evaluation, instead of chest-Rx.
  • If an organ is offered from abroad and screening of the is not possible, the accepting center has the prerogative to decide whether to accept the organ or not, balancing urgency of the transplantation against risk