ALREADY established as a world leader when it comes to organ transplants, Spain shattered its own record for the procedures last year, for a total of 5,861. 

The figure was a 9% rise compared to 2022, and represents the 32nd year that the country has topped the global list for the number of transplants. Spain accounts for one in four donors in the European Union and 5% of all donors worldwide. 

The news was announced on Wednesday by Health Minister Monica Garcia and the general director of the National Transplants Organisation (ONT), Beatriz Dominguez-Gil. 

Monica Garcia
Health Minister Monica Garcia in a file photo from 2023. © LaPresse via ZUMA Press

The record was achieved thanks to 2,346 people who donated their organs after they died, according to the government’s figures, as well as 435 people who donated either a kidney or part of their liver as living donors. 

Last year saw Spain achieve a transplant rate of 122.1 per million inhabitants, with 140,000 transplants carried out since records began. 

Garcia pointed to Spain as having the highest donation activity in the world, thanks to a rate of 48.9 donors per million people last year. The United States, meanwhile, registered 44.5 donors per million people in 2022 with its 2023 figures yet to be released. 

Part of the improvement is thanks to greater expertise among Spanish healthcare professionals for donation in asystole, when the organs are harvested from a donor who has died after going into cardiorespiratory arrest. 

The minister explained that Spain is the only country in the world that is performing all kinds of transplants from asystole donors, news agency Reuters reported. 

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