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Survey finds that liver transplantation worldwide has been hard hit by COVID-19

2 November 2021

EASL, the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT) with the European Liver and Intestine Transplantation Association (ELITA), and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS), are proud to announce the publication of findings of a jointly run survey held from September to December 2020.

The survey, sent to 470 centres, set out to explore how patients, healthcare professionals, and liver transplant centres across the world were affected – in their clinical care and waiting-list management.

Synopsis of the survey findings: lessons of international relevance

The findings of the survey highlighted that liver transplantation was severely affected in every aspect by SARS-CoV2 pandemic worldwide. Responses were sourced from the continents of Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. The responses, studied by an international multi-society task force, showcased the real impact of the first wave of SARS-CoV2. The pandemic detrimentally impacted transplant operations in heavily hit countries, yet the resilience of transplant centres motivated them to adapt their clinical practice in efficient ways to maximise patient care within the limitations of the pandemic. The observations in this article can serve as future lessons for the medical community when handling other emergencies of this magnitude.

Read the findings of this jointly run global survey

The survey findings, “Global impact of the first wave of COVID-19 on liver transplant centers: A multi-society survey (EASL-ESOT/ELITA-ILTS)”, by Prof. Francesco Paolo Russo et al, were published on 12 October 2021 in the Journal of Hepatology.

The health emergency caused by the Coronavirus has dramatically changed clinical practice during the pandemic. The first wave of the pandemic impacted liver transplantation across the world differently, especially with detrimental effects on the countries hit . The resilience of the entire transplant network has enabled the support of organ donations and transplants to ultimately improve the lives of patients with end-stage liver disease,

wrote Prof. Francesco Paolo Russo, lead author and Associate Professor of Gastroenterology University of Padova, Italy

EASL aims to promote communication among all professionals, in Europe and beyond, interested in the liver and its disorders, particularly by promoting liver research and facilitating global scientific exchange and fostering research interactions. This collaboration represents how dynamic, rich, and useful these kind of multi-society scientific collaborations can be for the global liver community,

said Prof. Thomas Berg, co-author and EASL Secretary General.

The data reported by this survey reflect the experience of the individual members of the three scientific societies and has a wide geographic reach. A collaboration such as this, among three different scientific societies, is an absolute international novelty regarding the case history of patients transplanted during the first wave of COVID,

said Prof. Manhal Izzy, chair of the ILTS Education and Scholarship Committee and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA.

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