2021 sees rise in organ transplants after pandemic related drop
1,063 procedures took place in 2021, the fourth most ever seen in a year in Catalonia
2021 saw a 6.4% rise in the number of organ transplants carried out in Catalonia relative to 2020, the year severely marked by the outbreak of Covid-19 and various strict lockdown measures.
In all, there were 1,063 procedures during 2021.
In 2020, a total of 999 transplants were performed in hospitals across Catalonia, but the year before saw the record high in terms of organ donations with 1,296.
The latest data on organ transplants were presented on Monday at a press conference by the department of health and the Catalan Transplant Organization (OCATT).
Health leaders pointed out the success of surpassing 1,000 procedures despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic continues. They celebrated this as a success of the organ donation system, which includes health workers, donors, and families.
The figure of 1,063 means that 2021 had the fourth-most organ transplants carried out in Catalonia ever.
Last year saw 288 people donate their organs after death, 8% more than the previous year, while 145 people donated a kidney, up from 113 in the year 2020.
Kidneys were the most-transplanted organ in 2021, with 743 - up from 679 the year before. Livers were the next most, although 2020 (188) saw more liver transplants than 2021 (156).
There were 85 lung transplants in 2021, up from 73; 54 heart transfers, up from 36; and 25 pancreas transplants, up from 23.
In addition, 10 of these kidney transplants were performed thanks to the Living Cross-Donor Kidney Transplant Program, an alternative model created to respond to incompatible donor-recipient pairs.
The waiting list for organ donation has grown again to 1,218 people, a figure similar to the pre-pandemic levels.
However, the percentage of relatives refusing to donate is the highest in recent decades (23.6%) and is partly attributed to the difficulty of communication in hospitals during the pandemic during moments as difficult as the death of a loved one.