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Organ Transplant Rate Dropped During the Pandemic

A study conducted on four continents indicated a marked decline in the number of solid Organ Transplant amid the COVID-19 due to the risk of infection and limited resources. The study was published in The Lancet Public Health journal on Monday.

The study was stemmed from 22 countries, including the U.S., Canada, 16 countries across Europe and three in South America. The study began after the 100th reported COVID-19 case in each country, as viral spread differed across regions. Researchers collected and compared data from January-December 2020 versus the same period in 2019.Results indicated worldwide Organ Transplant declined 16% across the 22 countries, with the largest reductions among kidney transplants likely owing to its non-immediate life-saving nature, followed by lung, liver and heart transplants, down approximately 16%, 11% and 5%, respectively.

The study said that the number of Organ Transplant decreased rapidly during the first 3 months of the pandemic, this decrease stabilised after June, 2020, as transplantation centres probably learned to revise after the first pandemic wave. A reduction in Organ Transplant activity was observed from October to December 2020. The declines varied across countries, and some nations like the U.S, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy maintained the rate of transplants, while others saw significant reductions, researchers wrote.

The study cited over 48,000 patient life-years lost due to the pandemic’s toll on Organ Transplant. The study had its limitations; the data didn’t detail reasons for volume reductions in certain areas, and other factors could be at play. The study excluded many countries and all of Africa due to insufficient data, though nations in Africa were recommended to hold a priority in future studies.

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