Pediatric transplantation in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic: early impact on activity and healthcare
Abstract The current pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus has required an unusual allocation of resources that can negatively impact of chronically ill patients and high-complexity procedures. Across the European reference network on pediatric transplantation (ERN-TransplantChild) we conducted a survey to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on pediatric transplant activity and healthcare practices in both solid organ transplantation (SOT) and hematopoietic stem cell (HSCT) transplantation. The replies of 30 professionals from 18 centers in Europe were collected. Twelve of 18 centers (67%) showed a reduction in their usual transplant activity. Additionally, outpatient visits have been modified, restricted to selected ones and to the use of telemedicine tools has increased. Additionally, a total of 14 COVID-19 pediatric transplanted patients were identified at the time of the survey, including eight transplant recipients and six candidates for transplantation. Only two moderate-severe cases were reported, both in HSCT setting. These survey results demonstrate the limitations in healthcare resources for pediatric transplantation patients during early stages of this pandemic. COVID-19 disease is a major worldwide challenge for the field of pediatric transplantation, where there will be a need for systematic data collection, encouraging regular discussions to address the long-term consequences for pediatric transplantation candidates, recipients and their families.
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