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Public Health Service guidance updated regarding donor screening for bloodborne disease transmission

Published on: Sunday, July 5, 2020

The U.S. Public Health Service has released an updated version of its guideline on “Assessing Solid Organ Donors and Monitoring Transplant Recipients for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus Infection — U.S. Public Health Service Guideline, 2020.” A pdf version is available. The 2020 guideline is updated from the version issued in 2013, available here.

The CDC website states, “The new recommendations in this guideline have not yet been implemented into Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) policy. Based on these recommendations, the OPTN will develop policies for organ procurement organizations and transplant centers.”

The OPTN has started the process to review existing policies and any applicable guidance that will need to be changed to align with the revised guideline recommendations. A work group led by the Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee (DTAC) has been formed. It includes members from the following OPTN Committees: Ethics, OPO, Living Donor, Transplant Administrators, Operations and Safety, Pediatrics, Patient Affairs, and Transplant Coordinators. The work group also contains representatives from the following organizations: AOPO, AST, ASTS, and NATCO. The goal is to develop a public comment proposal and have needed changes approved before the end of this year.

OPOs and transplant hospitals should continue to follow current OPTN policies during this transition period while policy changes are developed and presented to the OPTN Board of Directors for action. OPTN policy specifically defines and refers to the 2013 guideline, and this version should be used to comply with OPTN policy until revisions can be completed and implemented. View a crosswalk document comparing the 2020 and 2013 guidelines and current OPTN Policy.

Member institutions should start reviewing the revised guideline and consider potential implications associated with these changes.

Members with additional questions can send an e-mail to