COVID-19 changes elective transplant prospects in SA

COVID-19 has meant many changes to the way hospitals operate. For some of their patients, it’s meant a longer wait for elective surgery. At one of Cape Town’s biggest state facilities, the pandemic has meant organ transplants have been put on hold. eNCA’s Lindsay Dentlinger spoke to a transplant coordinator who’s now caring for coronavirus patients.

CAPE TOWN - COVID-19 has meant many changes to the way hospitals operate and, for some of their patients, it’s meant a longer wait for elective surgery.

At one of Cape Town’s biggest state facilities, the pandemic has put organ transplants on hold.

Luke Steenkamp has been a nurse at Groote Schuur Hospital since 2006.

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After 10 years of working in trauma and emergency, he became a transplant coordinator working with both living and deceased donors. 

COVID-19 has changed all that.

Steenkamp said, “Since the pandemic, we have had to shut down because the patients we are receiving are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.” 

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Steenkamp has now moved to care for patients in a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit.

While he’s used to having tough conversations with the families of potential donors, the treatment of COVID-19 patients who are unable to see their families, has been hard on him too. 

For now, it is unknown what impact COVID-19 will have on organ transplants at this hospital – where the world’s first heart transplant was performed.

Watch the video above for more on this story.

Source
eNCA