Update information

Update information

22 July 2021: We have made changes in recommendations on:

  • testing patients for viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, to note that a polymerase chain reaction test should be used as the gold stardard (recommendation 3.2)

  • repeating respiratory review in patients who test positive for, or are suspected of having COVID-19, to clarify what tests should be done (recommendation 3.7).

10 February 2021: We amended our recommendations on when to defer donations and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for donors (recommendations 4.1, 4.3, 4.8 and 4.10) and recipients (recommendations 3.3, 3.5 and 3.6) pre-transplant, in line with updated BSBMTCT guidance. We also updated our guidance for staff who are self-isolating (recommendation 6.2), and added a recommendation (1.8) on vaccination.

29 July 2020: We have made changes in recommendations on:

  • advice for patients to limit the number of family members who attend appointments (recommendation 1.3) and explaining measures to limit infection risk (new recommendation 1.4)

  • advice for patients on minimising risk of respiratory infections before transplantation (recommendation 3.1)

  • testing for respiratory viruses before transplantation (recommendation 3.2).

  • additional investigations for patients who test positive for or are suspected of having COVID-19 (new recommendation 3.7)

  • tests for donors and actions if the results are positive (new recommendation 4.5 and recommendation 4.6); these recommendations now apply to related donors, not just sibling donors (recommendation 4.1)

  • risk assessment for donors who test positive (recommendation 4.8) and a reduction in the delay in providing blood products after a positive test (recommendation 4.10)

  • advice for patients post-transplant (recommendation 5.2)

  • assessing when staff who test positive or have symptons can return to work (recommendation 6.2)

  • routine screening for staff (new recommendation 6.3)

  • prioritising treatment (table 1)

  • risk assessments for ambulatory transplant pathways (new recommendation 8.3)

  • what to do when a centre is temproarily closed (recommendation 8.6)

  • assessing risk in storing cells from a donor with COVID-19 (recommendation 8.9) and the viability of cryopreserved stem cells (new recommendation 8.10)

  • using granulocyte-colony stimulating factor to minimise the use of chemotherapy priming.

We have also removed recommendations (originally numbered 3.3, 3.4 and 7.3) that advised deferring most autologous and allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplants, and deferring transplants if further treatment or immunosuppression would put then at more risk from COVID-19 in the community. This is to reflect changes in the risk of infection and the capacity in services.

Minor changes since publication

1 June 2020: We amended the cross-reference in recommendation 2.4 to link to UK government guidance on managing exposure to COVID-19 in hospital settings. We also aligned recommendation 4.1 with current government advice on social distancing.

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