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Bone Marrow Transplant ; : 1-9, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-939434

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has serious implications also for patients with other diseases Here, we describe the effects of the pandemic on unrelated hematopoietic stem cell donation and transplantation from the perspective of DKMS, a large international donor registry Especially, we cover the development of PBSC and bone marrow collection figures, donor management including Health and Availability Check (HAC), transport and cryopreservation of stem cell products, donor recruitment and business continuity measures The total number of stem cell products provided declined by around 15% during the crisis with a particularly strong decrease in bone marrow products We modified donor management processes to ensure donor and product safety HAC instead of confirmatory typing was helpful especially in countries with strict lockdowns New transport modes were developed so that stem cell products could be safely delivered despite COVID-19-related travel restrictions Cryopreservation of stem cell products became the new temporary standard during the pandemic to minimize risks related to transport logistics and donor availability However, many products from unrelated donors will never be transfused DKMS discontinued public offline donor recruitment, leading to a 40% decline in new donors during the crisis Most DKMS employees worked from home to ensure business continuity during the crisis

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