Living donation & COVID-19

Is a living donor at higher risk for COVID-19?

No specific information exists about there being a higher risk for COVID-19 in living donors as compared with the general population.


If I have COVID-19, can that delay my transplant evaluation?


Yes, if you or your living donor are still infectious.


How can I find a kidney donor now?

Check out NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE resources for tips on sharing your story to find a living kidney donor.

Check with your transplant center about whether they are currently evaluating potential living donors in light of COVID-19.


How can COVID-19 affect transplant surgeries?

Statement from the American Society of Transplantation: The risk of acquiring COVID-19 from organ donation is low. Donors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure history. Living donors who have been to high-risk areas or exposed to someone diagnosed or being evaluated for COVID-19 infection are generally being asked to postpone donation for 14 to 28 days after returning. Some organ procurement organizations are testing some or all donors for COVID-19. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) made recommendations about elective surgeries and non-essential procedures that include transplantation. Transplants should not be postponed in “high acuity/unhealthy patients.” Some centers may still need to look at temporarily putting elective living donor transplantation or non-urgent deceased donor transplants on hold. Transplant centers will base these decisions on issues such as the level of circulating COVID-19 infection in their areas and/or operational issues (such as testing availability, bed space, availability of basic supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment).

Also, living donors are being asked to not travel to high-risk areas for at least 14 days before donation and monitor for symptoms. Information about recent travel and possible exposure is also asked about deceased donors to help determine if it is safe to use them for organ and tissue donation.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) made recommendations about elective surgeries and non-essential procedures that include transplantation. Transplants should not be postponed in “high acuity/unhealthy patients.” Some centers may still need to look at temporarily putting elective living donor transplantation or non-urgent deceased donor transplants on hold. Transplant centers will base these decisions on issues such as the level of circulating COVID-19 infection in their areas and/or operational issues (such as testing availability, bed space, availability of basic supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment).

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