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Kidney Week

Abstract: PO2090

The Impact of COVID-19 on Kidney Transplant Listing and Referral on the Mexican-American Border

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 1902 Transplantation: Clinical

Authors

  • Pirverdian, Arteen, University of the Incarnate Word, Laredo, Texas, United States
  • Mcnutt, Grace, University of the Incarnate Word, Laredo, Texas, United States
  • Zavala Georffino, Julio Paolo, University of the Incarnate Word, Laredo, Texas, United States
Background

Laredo, Texas is a city on the Mexican-American border in South Texas that ranked as the most affected area in the United States relative to population in terms of COVID-19 in January 2021. The hospitalization rate, the area’s total resources devoted to treating coronavirus patients, reached 45.8% and it averaged 229.9 cases daily per 100,000 citizens. We reviewed data early in the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 and later in May 2021 to evaluate whether the pandemic affected rates of referral and/or waitlisting.

Methods

Data was gathered from three dialysis clinics in Laredo, TX. The number of patients waitlisted or scheduled for living donor transplantation was determined early in the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 and later in May 2021. The number of patients referred for transplantation but not yet waitlisted was also obtained as well as the number of patients not referred both early in the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 and in May 2021.

Results

In May 2020, a total of 285 patients were available for analysis. 52 patients (18.2%) were waitlisted or scheduled for living donor transplantation. An additional 91 patients (31.9%) were referred but not yet waitlisted nor scheduled for living donor transplantation. A total of 140 (49.1%) were not referred. In May 2021, a total of 244 patients were available for analysis. 36 patients (14.8%) were waitlisted or scheduled for living donor transplantation. An additional 71 patients (29%) were referred but not yet waitlisted nor scheduled for living donor transplantation. A total of 135 (55%) were not referred.

Conclusion

There was a smaller percentage of ESRD patients waitlisted or scheduled for living donor transplantation in May 2021 than early in the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. There was also a smaller percentage referred but not waitlisted and a larger percentage not referred. The 3.4% decrease in patients waitlisted or scheduled for living donor transplantation may be a result of the high COVID-19 burden in Laredo, TX and the wariness to travel approximately 150 miles to the nearest transplant center. It is not known whether this decrease will have lasting implications on access to transplantation.