Spain breaks its own record to stay global leader in organ transplants

Spain has remained world leader when it comes to the number of transplants carried out for the 24th year running, new figures have revealed.

Spain breaks its own record to stay global leader in organ transplants
Spain continues to lead the way in organ donations. Archive photo: Shutterstock

While Spain accounts for only 0.7 percent of the global population, it conducted around four percent of all transplants carried out worldwide in 2014, breaking its own record when it comes to organ donation, new figures from the Spain’s National Transplant Organization (ONT) reveal.

Spain’s organ donation figures are currently 36 donations per every one million people  which is “much higher” than the EU average (19.6) and the US average (26.6) according to a statement released by Spain’s Health Ministry.

Spain broke its own record in 2014 carrying out a total of 4,360 transplant operations from 1,682 donations. It means that 17 percent of all the organs donated in Europe and six percent of those donated globally came from Spain, which remains well ahead of other countries when it comes to donation numbers.

In 2014 in Spain there were 2,678 kidney transplants, 1,068 liver transplants, 265 heart transplants, 262 lung transplants, 81 pancreas transplants and six intestine transplants.

The World Transplant Register, which is compiled by Spain’s National Transplant Organization in conjunction with the World Health Organization, shows that 118,117 transplants took place globally in 2014, a mere 12 percent of those which were needed.

But numbers are improving, slowly but surely, according to the Transplant Commission of the European Union. Between 2010 and 2014 the number of transplants carried out worldwide rose by 13.5 percent.

The director of the ONT, Rafael Matesanz, told Spanish daily newspaper 20 minutos that Spain continues to “lead the way” and that both donations and transplants are increasing in countries where the “Spanish model” is being implemented. 

The so-called Spanish Model for organ donation has achieved such good results that its measures have been adopted by the World Health Organization and many countries in Europe and Latin America.
Spain operates an “opt-out” system in which all citizens are automatically registered for organ donation unless they choose to state otherwise.

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