DKMS (Germany, Poland, US, UK, India and Chile)
Read here information from DKMS how they can organise a health availability check without blood collection instead of conventional Confirmatory/Verification Typing.
Australia Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-7748)
Austrian Bone Marrow Registry (ION-2614)
Belgium Marrow Donor Programme Belgium - MDPB (ION-4201)
Bulgarian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-7197)
Canada Canadian Blood Services Stem Cell Registry (ION-5103)
Canada Héma-Québec Registry (ION-6912)
China Marrow Donor Programme - CMDP (ION-2197)
CMDP would report to WMDA if any critical contingency occurs.
Croatia Croatian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-5712)
Cyprus Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-9751)
The classification of the countries was made based on their current epidemiological data. To this extend, two categories were created including countries with which connectivity is restored.
For passengers arriving from countries included in Category B, will continue to need a clear COVID19 test issued 72 hours before their departure in order to be allowed onboard. Cypriot nationals and legal residents from those countries will be able to take the test upon their arrival to the island. In such an occasion and until the test results are issued, they will remain in self-isolation at home. For all other countries which are not included in the two categories, at any given time, the Republic of Cyprus will allow flights carrying solely Cypriot citizens and people to whom special permission will be granted. In this occasion, they would have to furnish a clear Covid-19 test conducted 72 hours previously, before they are allowed to board an aircraft to Cyprus. Alternatively, the test can be conducted upon their arrival to Cyprus, however passengers will remain at a designated area for 1 day or until the test results are issued.
Czechia Czech National Marrow Donor Registry Plzeň (ION-5440)
Ensure donors are free of respiratory symptoms for at least 14 days before planned donation.
Donors should not travel outside of Singapore for at least 14 days before planned donation.
Both PBSC and BM donors: Nasal swab COVID-19 test within 48 hours before planned donation.
If donor is tested positive for COVID-19, defer donation for 3 months from recovery/resolution of symptoms.
Donors with history of COVID-19 Infection
Defer collection for 3 months from recovery/resolution of symptoms.
Donors had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
Defer collection for 28 days after donor’s last contact with person with confirmed COVID-19 infection
Donors with household members who have had contact with confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
Defer collection for 28 days after donor’s household members last contact with person with confirmed COVID-19 infection
Donors who are under quarantine order (QO), Stay-Home Notice (SHN), Leave-Of-Absence (LOA) or equivalent
Defer collection for 28 days after the last day of QO/SHN/LOA
South Africa South African Bone Marrow Registry (ION-8118)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/bRRcAQ
- Update October 28, 2020: South Africa has developed a risk categorisation model for different international travellers. This model classifies international travellers according to a scale of high, medium and low risk. High risk travellers are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa. Medium risk travellers are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa and low risk travellers originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa. Travellers from medium and low risk countries can enter South Africa for both business and leisure on condition a negative coronavirus test result, less than 72 hours old, is available. If they do not have the test result, they will remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost. Everyone arriving will be screened, and those who show any symptoms of COVID-19 will also be required to stay in quarantine until they test negative for the virus again. Travellers will be asked to install the South African Government’s contact alert app.
Business travellers from high risk countries with scarce and critical skills including diplomats, repatriated persons, investors and people participating in professional sporting and, events will have to apply for exemption to enter South Africa an email can be sent to Covid19BusinessTravel@dha.gov.za supported by:
- A copy of passport and/or temporary residence visa;
- Proof of business activities to be undertaken in the Republic;
- Proof of travel itinerary; and
- Proof of address or accommodation in the Republic.
Leisure travellers from high risk countries will not be permitted entry.To view the list of high risk countries please go to IATA’s travel centre website and click on South Africa https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php this list will be updated every two weeks. For more frequently asked questions about the re-opening of South Africa’s borders for international travellers please follow this link http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/2020/corona_virus0930.htm
Spain Registro de Donantes de Médula Ósea (REDMO) (ION-7813)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/fRRcAQ
Update per November 23, 2020: We would like to update you with some new information about traveling to Spain. From November 23rd, 2020 and on it will be mandatory for all travelers to submit evidence of a negative SARS-Cov-2 PCR performed 72hrs prior to arrival. We worked with our Foreign Health Authorities to make an exception for couriers involved in the import/export of Hematopoietic Stem Cell products. In order to comply with the requirements, all couriers will need to fill in an online health check at this webpage: https://www.spth.gob.es/create In this questionnaire you will find a question asking whether you completed the PCR test. Even if you did not do it, you must answer: YES. This way, the system will generate the proper QR code for entering Spain. We are also in the process of getting an official Waiver from our Foreign Health Authorities that authorizes the free transit of couriers without the required screening test. Once we have this document, we will immediately distribute it. Nevertheless, if you experience any troubles during your trip, please urgently contact your REDMO-coordinator or our 24/7 emergency number: +34 689 306 356. Finally, we strongly recommend cryopreservation of all products entering and leaving Spain until the situation improves.
Update July 12, 2020:
As of today our transplant centres are being encouraged to schedule fresh infusions again. This means that in those cases where transport is reliable, they won´t be planning a cryopreservation upon arrival of the product anymore. For those cases in which cryopreservation of the product might still be needed, we would inform you about the procedure and our transplant centres have been asked to schedule the beginning of the conditioning regimen during the first 72hrs after reception of the product. We hope this new strategy is more consequent with the current state of the pandemic and we really hope the situation stays stable and favorable for our patients and donors.
Verification Typing: from 15.06.2020 it will be possible to request VT blood samples from all Spanish Donors. We will continue to perform the HAC including COVID-19 risk factors.
Transport: most Courier-Companies can make door to door transport of products, so that there is actually very little need of hand-over at the airports.
COVID-19 screening: our National Health Authorities keep on strongly recommending COVID-19 PCR screening of all stem cell donors, so that we will continue to perform the test in all our donors.
Sweden Tobias Registry Sweden Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-5285)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/display/WMDAREG/Operational+Information+ION-5285#/
- Update March 27, 2020: The registry stays operational for all activities. Staff can work from home or will be at the office. You will always be able to reach us by e-mail using: email@example.com
- Donors is routinely asked if they have any flu-like symptoms.
- Donors are advised to follow the safety measures from the Swedish Government and health care authority. There are no travel restrictions within Sweden.
- We accept that products are cryopreserved.
- In response to the European Council’s and the European Commission’s call for travel restrictions, the Government decided on 17 March to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden so as to mitigate the effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the spread of the disease but persons with a creditable purpose are allowed to enter. Medicine is considered a creditable purpose. The registry will provide documentation for the courier to show at the border that will allow them to travel to the Transplant Center or Collection Center. The documentation will be handled to the TC and the courier and it include a 24/7 phone number for the border police to confirm the purpose of the courier, if needed.
Switzerland Blutspende SRK Schweiz (Swiss Blood Stem Cells) (ION-9341)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/mxRcAQ
- Update January 29, 2021:
- The Swiss blood stem cell transplant activity is working again under remote access conditions but otherwise under nearly normal conditions, on the patient side as well as on the donor side. However, we are also impacted by the restrictive measures that affect both courier travels and donor selection policies.
- In order to prevent any risk of harm to the recipients, our medical committee maintains its recommendation to accept all requests for cryopreservation by national and international transplant centers. This will allow the transplant centers to cryopreserve the products upon receipt and to start the conditioning regimen only after safe arrival of the product. Currently most Swiss transplant centers will request cryopreservation of the product, depending on the current local situation (spread of the virus in the corresponding country, donor situation, etc.). We will inform you accordingly.
- Concerning Swiss donors, we have defined specific donor selection policies, including testing, in order to minimize the risks for the donors themselves and for the recipients as far as possible. We will perform a Health & Availability Check (HAC) in the cases, where we are not able to perform a blood draw, however our priority process remains to perform a regular CT/VT including the collection of blood samples.
- Border control: Switzerland has open borders but travelers entering Switzerland from certain regions will have to go into quarantine for ten days. The FOPH (Ministry of Health) has a list of the countries concerned, which it updates regularly (https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html#1918240392 ). Travelers affected will be notified during the flight, on board coaches and at border crossings. They will have to register with the cantonal authorities on arrival. Airlines and travel companies will also be instructed not to transport sick passengers. The Swiss Registry holds an additional authorization for the import and export of blood stem cells (06.07.2020 authorization Corona BAG) especially for the COVID-19 situation (Import/Export of DLIs) and we will provide this authorization for the cases where the Swiss registry is involved (national patients/donors and international donors/patients) in order to prevent courier staff from having to go into quarantine.
- NEW COVID-19 test requirements for couriers starting 08.02.2021: Switzerland is changing their requirements for quarantine and testing of travelers entering Switzerland starting 08.02.2021. Please note that couriers entering Switzerland to pickup or deliver blood stem cells are exempted from these requirements and do not need to quarantine or require a negative test when entering Switzerland. Couriers are still obliged to register with the Swiss FOPH and must provide their contact information before entry into Switzerland: https://swissplf.admin.ch.
- We offer assistance for couriers departing Switzerland and requiring a COVID-19 test in order to enter another country. Please notify our coordination team (firstname.lastname@example.org) in advance and we will help setting up a test. Test stations are available close to the Swiss collection centers and offer antigen tests with a turnaround of 30min. PCR testing requires considerably more time and therefore must be assessed individually in case it is absolutely necessary for the transport.
- Masks are compulsory on all public transport. It is also mandatory to wear a mask in all publicly accessible establishments and (indoor premises). This includes shops, banks and restaurants.
- We are grateful for your collaboration in helping us to maintain our blood stem cell transplant activity. We remain at your disposal for any kind of inquiries concerning this topic email@example.com / emergency calls: +41 31 380 81 01.
Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Stem Cells Center - BTCSCC (ION-3458)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/qxRcAQ
- Information in Chinese (find below the English Translation)
- Update June 23, 2020:
During the period of the serious COVID-19 outbreak, BTCSCC maintains its stem cell donations as the usual process but follows the policies declared by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan .
To prevent the risk of non-related donors and recipients from getting an infection by COVID-19 while the Central Epidemic Command Center is still serving (before the risk of the infection is dismissed), the measures taken by BTCSCC are as follows:
- To clarify the risk of infection on donors, BTCSCC will survey the donors at CT and Work Up sages. If the donors have related symptoms, history of contact with COVID-19 cases or have been exposed to the risk area, the donation process on the donors will be deferred for 2 to 3 weeks. The TC will be notified once an ineligibility or deferral is determined.
At the donors’ work up stage, travel history of the donors will be revealed by the national health insurance system. The work up will be postponed once a related medical history, symptoms or any adverse sign on the donors’ chest imaging are observed. And the TC will be notified as soon as possible.
- BTCSCC will survey the donors 14 days before the collections to determine if they are at the risk of a COVID-19 infection.
BTCSCC staff will call and perform a health survey on the donation candidate every two weeks to see if there is any abnormal symptom.
BTCSCC will also survey the donors 14 days after the collections to determine if the donors are at the risk of COVID-19 infection and notify the TC as the supportive information for clinical purposes.
The TC should arrange a pick up date based on Dh (Day harvest) instead of Day0 with BTCSCC in the future. Dh may change and the product may not be able to arrive at the TC on the scheduled date due to flight changes or border closures. Please start the conditioning therapy or myeloablative conditioning therapy of the recipient after the arrivals of the products. And the product should be cryopreserved prior to the completion of the therapy. This strategy is to ensure the safety of the recipients in this rapidly changing epidemic situation.
All the registries or the TCs should confirm the flight schedules and the regulations for epidemic prevention of both import and export countries before arranging the pick-up date of the products to ensure the process of the donation is smooth and timely.
Using dry shipper, BTCSCC provides cryopreserved product of PBSCs and lymphocytes. For further information please contact coordinators of BTCSCC.
TC must report the product receipt form to BTCSCC in order to understand the status of the product and its recipient.
Thailand Thai National Stem Cell Donor Registry - TSCDR (ION-8362)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/wxRcAQ
- Update July 7, 2020: TSCDR operation during COVID-19
- Search: TSCDR accept search request from transplant centres and registries as usual without restriction
- CT and WU requests: TSCDR has implemented COVID-19 donor eligibility criteria according to WMDA recommendation. Additional COVID-19 infection risk information have been required from donor as following, 1) risk of infection from working area such as airport staff, tour guide, airport staff, tour guide, medical staff etc. 2) risk of infection from close contact to infected person or person who come back from high risk countries 3) participate in activities with a lot of people or big communities. Donor who have above risk will be requested for temporary deferral for at least 28 days. Donor who pass medical assessment must be educated to quarantine themselves for protective COVID-19 infection before collection and must notify TSCDR if they found any symptoms related to COVID-19 infection during 14 days after collection. Some of collection centers are COVID-19 treatment centers affect decreasing collection facilities then the collection schedules may be delay.
- Transportation of blood samples: TSCDR do not find the delay of blood samples transportation with FedEx. Some donors may be requested to quarantine for 14 days that affect delay sample shipment schedule.
- Travel restrictions: The Government of Thailand has announced the Notification on Conditions for Aircraft Permission to Enter Thailand (No.2) on 2nd July 2020 affect the available flights for passengers coming to Thailand. Then cryopreservation of stem cell product was required and shipped by cargo flights.
- Search: TSCDR accept search request from transplant centres and registries as usual without restriction
Turkey - TRAN and TRIS (ION-5509 and ION-3893)
- Update March 20, 2020 : INFORMATION TRAN and TRIS would like to inform that as of today 14/03/2020, the Turkish Ministry of Health has decided to require all returning passengers (citizens and non-citizens) from all to adhere to a 14-day quarantine from their entry into Turkey. These provisions mean that foreign couriers will not be able to enter the country. It is also very likely that the frequency of flights to and from Turkey will decrease significantly in the coming days. TRIS and TRAN working very hard with competent authorities to find suitable solutions for each transport during next week, and we are in close contact with the relevant registries. However, due to this difficult situation, we can no longer guarantee a safe arrival of the product in the coming weeks.
- Search: TRIS and TRAN accepts search request from transplant centres and registries as usual, without any restrictions.
- Confirmatory Typing: Requests will be accepted as usual, but collection of a new blood sample for confirmatory typing has become more difficult day by day. Testing of provided samples are still in progress. For foreign registries, we suggest to request for on-site CT instead of requesting for a blood sample.
- Workup Requests: We will not be able to collect any cell product during this period. We are trying to complete the scheduled ones but we will not accept any WU request in this period.
- Transport of HPC collected on international donors: Most flights have been cancelled, so it is even more difficult to organize the transports of HPCs. We would suggest to arrive in Istanbul airport and we may assist with our courier in order to have the handover of the product directly at the airport.
- As March 19 The government close the air connection with 22 countries and close 3 borders. This countries are: China, Iran, Italy, Iraq, South Korea, Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Egypt, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Bulgaria. The closed borders are with Iraq, Iran and Georgia. In this condition we can no longer guarantee a safe arrival of any blood sample in the coming weeks.
- Postpone donation : According to the novel coronavirus – guidance of WMDA, it is recommended to postpone donation in case of donors coming from risk area, or contacting with confirmed case, or with history of COVID-19 infection.
- Please contact in case of an emergency situation :
- TRAN: firstname.lastname@example.org, Gamze Ceylan : email@example.com Tel: +90 03125082374, mobile :+90 0505 966 6813, Ayfer Tarla Burucu: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +90 0312 508 2444 Mobile. +90 0533 623 73 69
- TRIS: Kibankinfo@istanbul.edu.tr Fatma Oguz MD PhD Tel: +90 212 414 20 00/ 32461 Mobile:0090 532 3737035
January 20, 2021: United Kingdom, UK aligned registries - guidance for international stem cell couriers entering the UK to deliver or collect stem cell products, click here.
United Kingdom, Anthony Nolan (ION-6354)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/7RRcAQ
- Update March 12, 2021: The routine requesting of fresh cells has now resumed following several weeks of stable activity. We do continue to strongly recommend having a backup donor identified for fresh product requests, and please do contact us if we can support that in any way. Rules for cryopreservation have returned to pre-pandemic norms – Transplant Centers must ask for approval to cryopreserve products.
- Update May 22, 2020: On Friday 22nd May the UK government announced new measures at the UK borders to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections, effective from 8th June. They include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a short list of exemptions. The exemptions include certain medical staff and we expect that this will include medical couriers. We have been in regular contact with the UK Department of Health and Social Care and are awaiting confirmation of what, if any, additional paperwork will be required for couriers entering the UK from 8th June onwards.
- Update July 29, 2020:
- Search: Anthony Nolan is accepting search requests from transplant centres and registries as usual
- VT requests: R equests will be accepted as usual and we are procuring blood samples . All donors are asked about travel history, upcoming travel and exposure to COVID-19. Donors will deferred as per guidelines.
- Workup requests: All donors are asked about travel history, upcoming travel and exposure to COVID-19. Donors will deferred as per guidelines, but donation can be considered if the transplant is urgent, there is no other donor available and the donor is well, with no symptoms. We are in the process of securing access to COVID-19 testing for at-risk donors in the UK. UK guidance to transplant centres now recommends considering cryopreservation for all collections.
- Transport: New regulations on entering the UK, due to coronavirus (COVID-19), came into effect on 7th July 2020 and apply to both residents and non-residents. These regulations mean that visitors:
- Will need to provide journey and contact details prior to travelling to the UK, via the Public Health passenger locator form: https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/public-health-passenger-locator-form
- Will be required to “self-isolate” (i.e. not be allowed to leave the place they are staying) for the first 14 days they are in the UK, except in very limited situations or where country exceptions apply (from 10th July 2020 and subject to change). International stem cell couriers (both importing and exporting) are exempt from this self-isolation period and will be provided with a letter stating this prior to travel by the organising registry.
Anthony Nolan staff are now predominantly working from home, but there is no change to our contact information or service to international registries.
United Kingdom British Bone Marrow Registry (ION-2731)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/display/WMDAREG/ION-2731#/
- Update April 17, 2020:
- Search: We are continuing to accept search requests from transplant centres and registries as usual.
- VT requests: For all new requests after the 13th April, we will only draw blood samples under a limited set of circumstances. We will contact the donor to assess their health status, availability and willingness to donate. If the donor is available, we will ask if you would like us to carry out any additional HLA from stored DNA. If DNA is unavailable, we will only bleed the donor (to provide you with a VT sample and for IDM testing) if the donor’s HLA is of a poor quality (which we define as a less than second field resolution at HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1 and –DQB1). Where we are unable to provide samples, you will be able to request this at work-up.
- ET requests: For all new requests after the 13th April, we will only carry out extended typing from stored DNA. If this is not available, we will not draw a sample from the donor.
- Workup requests:We accept such requests as normal. If a donor has had a suspected COVID-19 infection, the current UK guidelines recommend waiting for three months after symptoms abate before commencing with G-CSF injections – this period can possibly be reduced in urgent cases. Please request PBSC donations rather than BMH where possible, We continue to accept lymphocyte requests, but we will prioritise access to apheresis slots for PBSC donations. As at the 13th April, we have COVID-19 testing available at one of our Collection Centres and expect to have this for all of them by the end of April – please ask for the current status. All exported products will be transferred to the Handover Hub (run by our esteemed colleagues at Anthony Nolan) for handover to your courier at London Heathrow airport. UK guidance to transplant centres now recommends considering cryopreservation for all collections; if necessary, we can arrange to cryopreserve at our Collection Centre then ship.
United Kingdom Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ION-6354)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/display/WMDAREG/ION-1726#/
- Update June 8, 2020:
- From 8thJune the UK government has introduced a 14 day quarantine period for any person entering the UK. There is an exemptions to this rule that allows imported stem cells to continue to be brought into the UK by the designated courier and allows travel directly to the WBMDR to handover as usual. However for stem cells leaving the UK there is no current exemption for the courier to enter and travel to receive the cells. In these cases the WBMDR will use the ‘Handover HUB’ at Heathrow airport for the export of stem cells.
- Update April 16, 2020:
- Search: The WBMDR is continuing to accepting search requests from transplant centres and registries as usual.
- VT requests:In line with public health guidance on social distancing and to safe guard donors whilst ensuring that donor selection standards are met, the WBMDR has implemented a new algorithm for the provision of blood samples at CT. The ability of the donor to provide blood samples will be determined on a case by case basis and every effort will be made to provide a blood sample from those donors who are CMV negative or unknown. However, if a donor is unwilling / unable to give blood samples due to ‘social distancing’ measures the WBMDR can perform a health screening and availability questionnaire. Donors will then be required to give blood samples to test Infectious disease markers if they are chosen as the primary donor before stem cell collection.
- Workup requests:To clarify risk of infection WBMDR donor screening questionnaires have been extended to include questions relating to donor history of contact with COVID-19, symptoms, travel risks and vulnerable persons living with the donor (JPAC guidelines). The transplant centre will be notified immediately of any perceived risks. COVID-19 testing of WBMDR donors will take place at pre-collection (medical assessment) and on day of collection in response to updated NICE and EBMT guidance.
- Transport:For import of stem cells for Welsh Patients: The WBMDR uses an approved international courier. Many countries have already approved entry and exit of these specific couriers into their respective countries. Restrictions in air travel to and from countries is being updated daily and we are working with our UK Aligned Registry partners to determine the best method for ensuring we can transport stem cells to Heathrow and outside of the country. The WBMDR is in the process of updating its HTA license to include the import and export of cryopreserved cells. This will require the WBMDR to extend its existing process for assessment of international to include stem cell processing laboratories.
- Cryopreservation of products: Patients should not begin pre-transplant preparative regimens until the cells have arrived at the requesting transplant centre. In the majority of cases cells will be transported fresh for cryopreservation by the requesting transplant centre. Cells may then be stored for a quarantine period of 7 days to ensure that the donor is not infected with COVID-19. Cryopreservation at the collection centre will only be performed in exceptional circumstances where transport of fresh cells is not possible due to transit times exceeding 72 hours.
United States Be The Match-NMDP Registry (ION-3553)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/QxVcAQ
- Update January 20, 2021: COVID-19 testing for international travel can be found at a number of US airports. Most require scheduling ahead of time. The wait time for results varies by site and may change without notice, please verify the timing ahead of time by visiting one the website of one of these facilities: https://www.afar.com/magazine/these-us-airports-to-have-covid-19-testing
- Update January 15, 2021: On Jan. 12, the CDC announced changes to the requirements for all travelers entering the U.S. from abroad that will take effect later this month. Prior to boarding their flight, travelers will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. We are closely monitoring these new requirements and are working with our partners on a federal level to understand the implications to our international products. We will inform you as soon as possible if there are changes that impact a patient case at your center. Given the uncertainty surrounding travel, particularly international travel, we continue to recommend cryopreservation whenever possible. If you proceed with a fresh product, identify a backup donor with your Case Manager.
- Update November 30, 2020: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to reduce logistical challenges that put a patient’s transplant at risk. As part of this effort, we are encouraging U.S.-based transplant centers to consider U.S.-based donors first in their source selection. We are implementing this change because of increasing logistical risks and challenges due to international travel restrictions for couriers as well as anticipating additional risks as global COVID-19 cases increase. Starting Dec. 5 through the duration of the pandemic, donor search results in Match Source® will be displayed using a pre-applied filter that shows only U.S.-based donors (including Puerto Rico). However, Match Source users can easily remove the filter to see all U.S. and international donors. In addition, our Search Strategy team reviews every formalized search to ensure a better matched donor was not inadvertently missed. We are asking our transplant center partners to consider the increasing logistical risks if they do request an international donor. While we have been able to overcome logistical hurdles and successfully deliver every product collected, challenges can come up while the product is in transit. For example, just last week a courier encountered a COVID-19 testing requirement that had changed and required a rapid intervention to ensure the product delivery was not compromised. We anticipate additional risks for delays due to COVID-19 as global cases increase. Please know that we will always do whatever it takes to deliver product based on a transplant center’s donor selection. The Match Source filter addresses a need to reduce risks when possible and offers a level of emergency preparedness as we continue to navigate the effects of the global pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are continually updating our Frequently Asked Questions. Access the FAQs for your center type.
United States Gift of Life Registry (ION-1033)
- Registry operational information available on: https://share.wmda.info/x/IRVcAQ
- Update 27 March, 2020: Gift of Life has made the following procedural changes and enhancements in light of COVID-19:
- All Confirmatory Typing requests will not have a blood sample drawn for CT and IDM testing as routinely performed. Cooperative Registries will be notified of the donor availability and health history screening outcomes. In the event a transplant center wants a CT performed, we are happy to oblige by sending the donor a buccal swab kit and having it typed at a laboratory different than the original typing laboratory. The sample can be run STAT. Please notify email@example.com if you have a special request.
- Gift of Life is asking all transplant centers not to condition patients until after the product is received. This will require transplant centers to cryopreserve the product on receipt. In the event a transplant center is unable to cryopreserve, Gift of Life can arrange for this to be done for donors collected at the Gift of Life – Be The Match Collection Center (please check with your Gift of Life coordinator upon submission of the workup request, and we will do our best to have the donor collected at our facility). Gift of Life will then arrange for the product to be shipped in a dry shipper to the destination transplant center.
- We are especially grateful to our colleagues at Ontime Onboard Courier GmbH - especially Thilo Buerklin - for making courier transport miracles happen! Thank you to the entire registry and transplant community – and to the WMDA office – our global community is coming together to beat this crisis and help the patients who count on us all.