4 Transplant donors

Donors not known to have COVID‑19

4.1 Advise related donors that for at least 2 weeks before donating, they should follow relevant parts of government advice on social distancing (this differs across the UK). [amended 10 February 2021]

4.2 Tell donors about the clinical signs and symptoms of COVID‑19, transmission risks and related donation restrictions, because this will inform any decision to self-defer from donating.

4.3 For donors who are self-isolating, have previously self-isolated or have been in close contact with someone with COVID‑19, defer donations by at least 2 weeks from the first day of isolation. [amended 10 February 2021]

4.4 For cryopreservation donations, test stem cell donors for COVID‑19 at the medical assessment and again at harvest of stem cells or donor lymphocytes.

4.5 If donors get a positive test result for COVID-19 on the day of donation, after cryopreservation of cells, the recipient and clinical team should make a shared decision over the use of these cells, taking into account the risks and the availability of alternative donor cells. Record the decisions in the patient record and confirm them to the patient in writing. [29 July 2020]

4.6 If, in exceptional circumstances, fresh cell donations are needed, test for COVID‑19:

  • at the medical assessment and

  • again before conditioning, ensuring that a test result is available within the 72 hours before the start of conditioning. See recommendation 8.11. [amended 29 July 2020]

4.7 Tell donors to contact the coordinating registry and the collection centre at which they donated if they develop any illness within 2 weeks after donating.

Donors known or suspected to have COVID‑19

4.8 For donors who test positive for COVID‑19, defer donations by 2 weeks from when their symptoms resolve if they had confirmed COVID-19 or a positive PCR test at screening with or without symptoms. If less than 2 weeks have passed since testing positive and donation is urgent, refer to a designated clinical support officer for risk assessment. [amended 10 February 2021]

4.9 If haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is urgent and there are no suitable available donors, assess risk and liaise with the registry. Alternative sources of haematopoietic stem cells, such as HLA mismatched (haplo-identical) family members and cord blood, may be available. Discuss the options with the recipient and make sure they are kept informed of the donor situation.

4.10 Explain to donors with known or suspected COVID‑19 that they should not provide other blood products (including lymphocytes) for at least 2 weeks from when their symptoms resolve. [amended 10 February 2021]