Impact of COVID-19 on Lung Transplant Activity in Germany- A Cross-Sectional Survey.

Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 Sep 8. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1715436. Online ahead of print. Sebastian MichelChristian Witt Jens Gottlieb Clemens Aigner (Munchen, Berlin, Hannover, Essen ) PMID: 32898894 DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715436

The current COVID-19 pandemia affects health care systems worldwide, however, to a variable extent depending on the caseload in each country. We aimed to provide a cross-sectional overview of current limitations or adaptions in lung transplant programs in Germany in from January to May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. A cross-sectional survey assessing various aspects of lung transplant activity was sent to all active lung transplant programs (n = 12) in Germany. Eight centers (66%) responded to the survey within the requested time frame. Four centers (50%) reported their activity is not restricted at all and four centers (50%) reported on moderate general limitations. The overall lung transplant activity in Germany from January to May 2020 contains 128 bilateral and 11 single lung transplantations, which is similar to the same period in the year 2019 (126 bilateral transplantations and 12 single lung transplantations). The results suggest that the influence of the COVID-19 pandemia on lung transplantation activity in Germany has been moderate so far. Nevertheless, adaptions such as extensive testing of donors and recipients were introduced to reduce the likelihood of infections and increase patient safety. Alertness to changes in COVID-19 reproduction rates might be required until effective antiviral therapy or vaccination is available.