Italy was the first Western country to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we report the results of a national survey on kidney transplantation activity in February and March 2020, and the results of a three-round Delphi consensus promoted by four scientific societies: the Italian Society of Organ Transplantation, the Italian Society of Nephrology, the Italian Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, and the Italian Group on Antimicrobial Stewardship. All 41 Italian transplant centers were invited to express their opinion in the Delphi rounds along with a group of seven experts. The survey revealed that, starting from March 2020, there was a decline in kidney transplantation activity in Italy, especially for living-related transplants. Overall, 60 recipients tested positive for SARS-CoV2 infection, 57 required hospitalization, 17 were admitted to the ICU, and 11 died. The online consensus had high response rates at each round (95.8%, 95.8%, and 89.5%, respectively). Eventually, 27 of 31 proposed statements were approved (87.1%), 12 at the first or second round (38.7%), and 3 at the third (9.7%). Based on the Italian experience, we discuss the reasons for the changes in kidney transplantation activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Western countries. We also provide working recommendations for the organization and management of kidney transplantation under these conditions.
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