Impact of COVID-19 on Organ Donation and Transplantation in the UK


Healthcare Professionals
Mixed -methods study

How to Cite

Sharma, S., Giovinazzo, F., Hucker, A., Farrington, K., Lawrence, C., Riva, G. V. D., & Cronin, A. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on Organ Donation and Transplantation in the UK: Lessons learnt and opportunities for future. The Physician, 7(3), 1-12.


The COVID-19 pandemic has placed considerable strain on the allocation of healthcare resources. In this research, we explored the views of healthcare professionals in the UK on the countrywide management of organ donation and transplantation during the first COVID-19 surge in the spring of 2020.

Methods: An internet-based survey was developed and distributed over a 2-week period in May/June 2020.

Results: Three hundred and fourteen professionals responded, covering all organ donation and transplant regions across the UK. Data suggest a considerable degree of scaling back of activity in all but one region (Northern Ireland). A range of absolute criteria for organ donation and transplantation were highlighted that have since been implemented in practice.

Notable strengths of the countrywide response included the donation and transplant community acting responsibly and proportionately (51.6%), providing access to up-to-date information and data (43.9%,) and communicating risk (40.8%). Mixed views were expressed on equity in resource allocation, with 32% aligning with inequity, 28% with equity and 17% of respondents stating that equity issues are not relevant in a crisis.

Conclusion: Findings highlight that managing scarcity is complex during a pandemic. Embedding ethical values in recovery and future threats preparedness should be prioritised.


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