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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the latest updates

Last reviewed: 06 July 2020

We understand that this is a very worrying time for those awaiting an organ transplant, and transplant recipients.

The safety of organ donation and transplantation is our priority.

We are working to continue organ donation where possible, to enable transplants to go ahead if appropriate.

Next steps for patients

1. Follow the latest advice from Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care

2. Contact your transplant unit if you have questions about an upcoming transplant or need advice

3. You can also check our coronavirus and organ transplantation FAQs

How is organ donation and transplantation affected?

Every potential organ donor is being tested for COVID-19 and if someone has COVID-19 they will not be able to donate.

Although there is no known transmission of COVID-19 through organ donation, as patients who need a transplant have to be immuno-suppressed, any risks need to be minimised as much as possible. 

The situation is changing quickly, and we are aware that hospitals are dealing with a significant impact from COVID-19, which can effect the capacity to carry out donations and transplants. NHS capacity to deal with COVID-19 at this time and the safety of organ donation and patients in need of a transplant is paramount. Ensuring the safety of organ donation and transplantation during this pandemic is creating substantial challenges.

Transplants are going ahead if it is safe and appropriate, with transplant clinicians assessing individual cases and the situation in their own hospital. Transplant teams will also talk to patients awaiting a transplant operation and balance their need for a transplant against the additional challenges of being immuno-suppressed at this time.

We are continuing to monitor the situation, receiving regular updates, and are working closely with all devolved administrations, commissioners, Public Health England and organ donation, organ retrieval and organ transplant teams across the UK.