A Madrid hospital has successfully performed the world’s first asystole intestine transplant. The recipient was a one-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with intestinal failure aged just one month. 

An asystole donation is when the organ comes from a dead donor. An intestine is very difficult to preserve after death given its unique characteristics. 

The operation was carried out at the La Paz hospital in Madrid after three years of research. 

Spain is a world leader in organ transplants, with more than 102 carried out per million inhabitants in 2021, according to Health Ministry data cited by Reuters. Only the United States exceeds that figure. 

As well as the intestine, the young patient, named Emma, also received a new liver, stomach, spleen and pancreas. She has already been discharged from hospital and is in perfect health at home with her parents, according to a statement from the Madrid regional government.

La Paz hospital is one of the leading centres in Europe for paediatric transplants. Of the 3,149 transplants carried out there, 1,754 were for child patients, according to the Madrid regional government.

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