The Eye Bank of BC is continuing
to recover, albeit at a reduced level. During this time, BC is deferring all respiratory-related
deaths and those from ICUs; and will be asking supplemental Med/Soc questions
(1. Has the donor been diagnosed with or suspected to have had COVID-19 in
the past two months; 2. Has to donor had any contact with someone diagnosed
with or suspected to have had COVID-19 in the past 28 days; 3) Did the donor
have any of the following symptoms in the past 28 days: fever, dry cough, or
shortness of breath; 4. Did the donor travel outside of Canada in the past 28
days; and 5. Did the donor have any contact with someone who travelled
outside of Canada in the past 28 days).
A positive response to Q#1 is an automatic deferral, positive
responses for any other questions will be sent for a medical director consult.
CTC is still recovering tissue. Cornea transplants
are on hold as an elective procedure, so CTC has no need to recover corneas.
CTC is determining its approach to have emergent supply on hand but will
likely continue with a limited recovery program in order to have corneas on
hand for emergencies.
Eye bank has suspended recovery.
Currently business as
usual. Remembering that we are a recovery agency & allograft
distributor, not a source establishment, here is my update:
= Surgeries canceled or delayed4
donors in the last 8 days (this is high for us, normally we do 4 a month
–people are feeling very generous right now)Enhanced
Covid-19 screening as per Health Canada, AATB etc. Experiencing
slight delays at US border, but not significant enough to impact operations;
0 issues with materials or supplies; We are currently supplied for ~3 months.In
anticipation of this event I increased our allograft inventory by ~25% three
weeks ago, so no anticipated issues thereAll
staff present and accounted for, not a single part-time/full-time staff
member has requested leave for child care or other
Modifications to our
service are minimal:
visitors allowed in the facilityModified
shift schedule to reduce the amount of people at work at one timeReduction
on face-to-face meetings, any necessary huddles/meeting is held in lobby or
from office door, where ample space is availableGeneral
reminders around use of universal precautions
At this time we are not
planning to alter our services, however that status could change at any time
as the situation evolves. We anticipate that this event will last for months
and will continue to provide service as we are able.
Eye Bank is limiting recovery
based on the Donor Assessment record and 28-day criteria of EBAA. Are being
cautious with tissue recovery as we will need tissue for emergency
cases when those occur. Frozen would be the first choice as we have a supply
of frozen globes and amnion.
TGLN using 28 days threshold free
of any respiratory symptoms, etc.
Eye Bank had a potential staff
exposure so temporarily not receiving tissue. As of March 23rd Eye Bank is
now prepared to receive tissue. TGLN working through recovery staff
concerns before re-starting recoveries and providing education on the new
screening. Expected date to re-start recoveries for emergency use is
March 25 or 26 assuming decision to move forward.
Recovery of whole globe to meet
emergency ocular surgery needs using revised screening criteria.
All other ocular recoveries
deferred. Elective eye surgeries cancelled
throughout the province. Recovery to be completed at TGLN’s
surgical suite, not hospitals
Multi Tissue Recovery:
Recovery as in the past using
revised screening criteria.Donations continue but reduced
volume. Recovery completed at TGLN
recovery suite, not hospitals.
No tissue recovery is being performed at hospitals, donors are
transported to our facilities to limit the travel and exposure of recovery
staff. Staff are asked to stay home or are reassigned to other
departments. Multi-tissue activity reduced to week-days only
(recovery and processing day and evening shifts). Reduced but will ensure heart, skin and eye
recovery.Will maintain a limited supply of
cornea, mainly for urgent tissue requests.Hospitals have cancelled non-urgent surgeries, resulting in 25 corneal
transplants cancelled this week. If the situation worsens the need for tissue will be minimal and the
tissue bank will reduce its activities further and prioritize life-saving
tissues (skin grafts and pediatric heart valves) It will be increasingly difficult to qualify tissue donors in those
that have been infected or in contact with infected people. There is a recommendation to limit movement from one region to another
within the province, and in the event,
travel is prohibited, this will reduce the number of donors. Have added two new specific qualifying questions: have they been
diagnosed or expected diagnosed with COVID 19 (28-day deferral) and has there
been contact or have they been ordered to quarantine. Following the
recommendation from Public Health, they will be modifying the deferral period
to 14 days.
of Feb. 27th, new questions were added to the DRAI (in accordance
to EBAA & AATB recommendations).On
March 16th, under the guidance of our Medical Director, Dr
Seamone, and in consultation with Nova Scotia Health’s Regional Tissue Bank
(where most corneas recovered in NB are sent for processing and allocation),
we suspended all ocular tissue recovery in consideration of the following: OR
now being restricted to urgent and emergent cases only (hence no corneal
transplant surgeries) and some frozen tissue being available (for tectonic
NBOTP-Ocular Division has no corneal tissue in the bank. Some NB tissue
has been frozen and available from Regional Tissue Bank. For
MS tissue, because of the same reductions taking place in NB’s Horizon Health
Network (cancellation of elective surgeries) and the fact that, for NBOTP,
Eye Bank Technicians are responsible to perform initial screening for MS tissue
donors, under the guidance of our Medical Director, Dr Mitton, we have also
decided to suspend MS tissue recoveries temporarily.We
do have some tissues on inventory which can be shipped to NB facilities sill
ordering these; our current inventory consisting mostly of bone products
(cancellous chips, femoral & tibial struts, femoral heads, tricortical
wedges, fibula segments, with some hemi-patellar tendons).
Has suspended all eye and
tissue recovery as COVID continues to spread. Decision is based on risk
assessment to staff, patients and in relation to utilization of resources.Bank PPE and supplies may be
redirected to patient care. Suspension is expected to be
extended as COVID continues to spread.
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