The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges to everyone across the globe. As a donor program, the Science Care Team has witnessed the devastating impact to our donors, their loved ones, our employees, our families, our healthcare professionals, and our communities firsthand. Our sincere condolences and thoughts are with the victims and loved ones of all that have been affected.
One of the many challenges we’ve had to navigate as a donor program, which links the precious gift of donation with medical research and educational programs, is the tremendous impact on the placement of donated tissues. Our healthcare professionals’ focus has appropriately been primarily on saving lives, as well as the treatment and care of the living. This has impacted the research and educational work with which they have been able to participate. The limitations on travel, logistics, availability, and capacity have played a very large role in how our donor program has had to adjust for both our donors and our medical professionals.
Although we are very proud we have been able to continue accepting donors into the Science Care Program throughout the pandemic, we know there are donors and loved ones who have not been able to move forward with the gift of donation due to exposure or death directly related to COVID-19. Our team strives to place every donor with available programs, but the current state of the industry has hindered our ability to place any donated tissues with those exposures. The health, safety, and wellbeing of our employees, our medical and research professionals, and our communities is our number one priority. For this reason, we will continue to err on the side of caution, deferring donors with known risk or uncertain risks. We will stay committed to leading a safe, compliant, high-quality, ethical program with the highest level of integrity. We are very optimistic our medical community will prevail, and we will be able to adjust some of our exclusion criteria as the industry allows.
We encourage anyone considering donation to make their wishes known by signing up on the Science Care Donor Registry, and proactively discussing with their loved ones their wish to donate. It is important to note, registration does not guarantee acceptance. Donation is conditional upon current medical suitability as defined by Science Care and the ability to place the donation with current medical research and education projects at the time of passing. This honors the intent of the donation and safely serves the needs of the medical community. We encourage all registrants with our program to establish an alternate plan, and to discuss with their loved ones their wishes if donation is ultimately not possible at the time of passing. Our hearts are heavy for the donors we are not able to accept due to risk or lack of placement with current programs. We know this news comes at a very difficult time for their loved ones. It is our goal to assist in any way possible at their time of need.
Since the onset of COVID-19, Science Care has continued to monitor the progression of the virus, as well as updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and all state and county level guidelines. Science Care’s mission to make a difference in the world by helping to improve the quality of life for future generations has never been more important. We will continue to honor the gift of body donation to science by serving our donors and clients with an intentional focus.