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COVID-19 Update

Bulletin 20-9

March 14, 2020

Following previous Bulletins on the subject of COVID-19 (Bulletin No.20-3 released January 31, 2020, Bulletin No.20-7 released February 25, 2020, and Bulletin No.20-8 released March 4, 2020 ) the AATB Physicians Council has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Considering the characterization of COVID-19 as a pandemic announced by the World Health Organization, and the global COVID-19 outbreak notice issued by the CDC at Alert Level 2 - Practice Enhanced Precautions, the AATB Physicians Council updated its previously issued recommendation to tissue banks’ medical directors to remove the exclusion criterion based on travel to an area designated by the CDC as Alert Level 2 and to clarify that risk relating to domestic travel within the United States is to be evaluated and interpreted by the medical director of the establishment responsible for donor eligibility determination. In addition, the Physicians Council recommends a list of questions for donor screening personnel to use for COVID-19 risk evaluation purposes in the donor screening purposes (see below).

The updated guidance and recommended DRAI screening questions are presented below.

Updated guidance:

  • Travel within the last 28 days prior to donation to a country designated by the CDC as  Warning Level 3 may constitute grounds for exclusion of a deceased donor regardless of symptoms, or deferral of a living donor for as much time is necessary to ensure at least 28 consecutive days without symptoms1 following the last travel date to the designated area. Risk relating to domestic travel within the United States is to be evaluated and interpreted under the sole discretion of the medical director of the establishment responsible for donor eligibility determination.
  • Fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) without alternative explanatory acceptable cause and without a negative SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test evaluation, may constitute grounds for exclusion of a deceased donor, or deferral of a living donor for as much time is necessary to ensure at least 28 consecutive days without these syndromic symptoms.
  • Close contact3 within the last 28 days prior to donation with a person who has confirmed COVID-19 infection or with a Person under Investigation2 (PUI) as defined by the CDC may constitute grounds for exclusion of a deceased donor, or a deferral of a living donor for as much time is necessary to ensure at least 28 consecutive days without symptoms1 following the contact.
  • Confirmed infection or designation of a Person under Investigation2 (PUI) as defined by the CDC within the last 28 days prior to donation may constitute grounds for exclusion of a deceased donor or deferral of a living donor for as much time is necessary to ensure at least 28 consecutive days without symptoms after the PUI status is lifted.  

Recommended DRAI Questions:

  1. In the last 28 days, was he/she told by a healthcare professional he/she had coronavirus or was a person under investigation2 (PUI) for the coronavirus infection?  IF YES,
    1. When was he/she diagnosed or considered a person under investigation2 (PUI)?
    2. Provide any contact information for the healthcare professional (e.g., name, group, facility, phone number, etc.)
  2. In the last 28 days, was he/she within close contact3 with a person under investigation2 (PUI) for the coronavirus or diagnosed with coronavirus? IF YES,
    1. When was she/he diagnosed or first considered a person under investigation2 (PUI) for coronavirus? 
  1. Symptoms: Refer to the CDC website - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html
  2. Person under Investigation (PUI): Refer to CDC Criteria to Guide Evaluation of PUI for COVID-19 - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html
  3. Close Contact: Refer to the CDC website - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Due to the dynamically changing outbreak geography, medical directors are advised to refer to the CDC on countries at risk for transmission and community spread and the latest travel advisories.

AATB will inform members if any material changes require additional measures. For additional information, please contact the AATB Executive Office, Dr. Roman Hitchev, AATB VP & Chief Science Officer.