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LOPA ensures safe organ donations during COVID-19

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Posted at 9:50 AM, Mar 25, 2020

The Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency says that organ donations are ongoing during the COVID-19 crisis thanks to their Donor Care Center in Covington.

LOPA CEO Kelly Ranum says that the standalone care center allows for safe and timely donations and helps to ease the burden on hospital resources during this critical time.

“Our new headquarters is the best move forward to care for donors and our partner hospitals, who often are strained for bed space even under normal circumstances,” said Ranum in a press release. “The lessons we learned from hurricanes and floods went into our planning, and our preparation will ensure we provide a safe environment for our staff, our transplant partners, our donors and the recipients. Whenever possible, we will transfer donors to the DCC within a few hours of starting the donation process.”

The building was completed in 2018 and is one of only 10 donor care centers in the nation.

Ranum says that the center is also equipped with the capabilities to conduct bronchoscopies and echocardiogram testing on-site and test for any transmissible diseases that could be harmful to transplant recipients, including COVID-19.

All potential organ donors are being tested for COVID-19 and Ranum adds that any who test positive will not be a candidate for donation.

The Donor Care Center, according to Ranum, is regularly disinfected and all instrumentation cleaned and sterilized according to standards set by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

LOPA says that over 2,000 people in Louisiana are waiting for an organ transplant.