Spain breaks own organ transplant record in 2023

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain carried out more organ transplants than ever before last year, conducting a total of 5,851 such procedures, a 9% jump from 2022, Health Minister Monica Garcia said on Wednesday.

With one in four donors in the European Union and 5% of all donors worldwide, Spain, which has a population of 48 million, has been a global leader in organ transplants for over three decades.

Spain leads the way for various reasons, such as having a transplant coordinator at hospitals, usually a professional in intensive care, and it has also improved its expertise in organ donation in asystole, which occurs from donors who die after cardiorespiratory arrest.

Garcia said Spain was the only country that performed all types of transplants from asystole donors.

Spain has the highest donation activity globally with a rate of 48.9 donors per million people in 2023, the minister said. The United States, whose data for 2023 is not available yet, registered 44.5 donors per million people in 2022.

Regarding transplant activity, the United States leads with 130.7 transplants per million in 2022 while Spain reported 122.1 per million in 2023.

(Reporting by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Catarina Demony and Alison Williams)