Organ transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic – impact on deceased organ donor referrals and consent rates in the Western Cape, South Africa

Keywords: transplant, organ donation, COVID-19

Abstract

Background: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on transplantation is multifactorial. This study reports on its influence on deceased donation for transplantation in the Western Cape.

Methods: The volume of referrals and those who were consented for organ donation in the province in the pre pandemic period of May 2017 to February 2020 were compared to those of the initial pandemic period (March through December 2020).

Results: Prior to the pandemic, there were 201 deceased donor referrals in the Western Cape province – 152 (75.6%) and 49 (24.4%) in public and private sectors, respectively. The mean referral rates ranged between 59 69 referrals per year, translating into a monthly rate of 4.8 (range 2.8–5.8). During the first 10 months of the pandemic, there were 18 referrals – 12 (66.7%) and six (33.3%) in the public and private sectors; a decrease of 63%, with a mean monthly referral rate of 1.8. The overall consent rate prior to the pandemic in the public and private sectors was 36.6% (38% and 27%, respectively) with an increase to 44.4% (37.5% and 62.5%) during the pandemic.

Conclusion: Despite a 10% increase in consent rate for deceased donation during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant decrease in the number of potential donors referred. Strategies to improve organ donation and transplantation during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are required.

Author Biographies

H Bookholane, University of Cape Town

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa

T Du Toit, University of Cape Town

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa

E Muller, University of Cape Town

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa

D Thomson, University of Cape Town

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Published
2022-04-11
How to Cite
Bookholane, H., Du Toit, T., Muller, E., & Thomson, D. (2022). Organ transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic – impact on deceased organ donor referrals and consent rates in the Western Cape, South Africa. South African Journal of Surgery, 60(1), 55-58. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.com/index.php/sajs/article/view/3694
Section
Transplantation