Spain achieves a new record: 48 organ transplants in 24 hours

News - 2024.4.19


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This week, the generosity of Spanish society has once again marked a new milestone in transplant activity in our country. According to data from the ONT, on Wednesday 17 April, 17 families said yes to organ donation at the tragic moment of the loss of a loved one. On the same day, two other people made living organ donations. To this effect, in just 24 hours,19 people gave a total of 48 patients the opportunity to save or improve the quality of their lives, thanks to organ donation.

This incredible achievement was made possible by teamwork and the ONT's efforts to perfectly coordinate hundreds of professionals and organisations, so that the invaluable gesture of donation resulted in organ transplantation.

Twenty-nine hospitals from eleven autonomous communities were involved in this new transplant record. Of the 48 transplants performed, 25 were kidney, 11 liver, seven lung, three heart and two pancreas transplants. One of the transplants was performed on a patient in emergency zero, i.e. a patient in critical condition, with imminent risk of death if the transplant is not performed in time.

Among the transplant recipients were three children and one patient included in the ONT's National Transplant Access Plan for Hyperimmunised Patients (PATHI), who are patients with enormous difficulties in receiving a transplant due to their immunological characteristics.

The transport of organs and transplant equipment required the mobilisation of six private planes and the collaboration of two commercial flights, performed by Iberia and Vueling, with the involvement of the airports of A Coruña, Barcelona, Cordoba, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid and Vitoria.

Last Wednesday's organ transplant activity surpasses the previous record set on 29 November 2019, when 38 transplants were performed in 24 hours from 19 deceased donors, one of them from another country. This number of procedures confirms the robustness of the Spanish donation and transplantation model and the solidarity of our citizens.

In 2023, 5,863 organ transplants were performed in Spain, representing a rate of 122.1 transplants per million population. This was made possible by the 2,346 people who donated their organs after death, bringing the donation rate to 48.9 donors per million population, and the 437 people who donated an organ during their lifetime. Spain has been the world leader in organ donation for more than three decades.

The autonomous communities involved in the donation and transplant activity on 17 April were Andalusia, Cantabria, the Canary Islands, Castile and Leon, Catalonia, Valencia, Extremadura, Galicia, Madrid, the Basque Country and the Principality of Asturias.

Non official translation