Organ recovery from deceased donors with prior COVID-19: A case series

Transpl Infect Dis. 2021 Apr;23(2):e13503. doi: 10.1111/tid.13503. Epub 2020 Dec 1.


Although guidance documents have been published regarding organ donation from individuals with a prior history of COVID-19 infection, no data exist regarding successful recovery and transplantation from deceased donors with a history of or positive testing suggesting a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we report a case series of six deceased donors with a history of COVID-19 from whom 13 organs were recovered and transplanted through several of the nation's organ procurement organizations (OPOs). In addition, at least two potential donors were authorized for donation but with no organs were successfully allocated and did not proceed to recovery. No transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was reported from the six donors to recipients, procurement teams, or hospital personnel. Although more studies are needed, organ donation from deceased donors who have recovered from COVID-19 should be considered.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; deceased donor; donor-derived infection; transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / virology
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing
  • COVID-19 Serological Testing
  • Female
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting*
  • Young Adult