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Catalan hospitals hit transplant record for sixth year in a row

Some 1,296 organ operations carried out last year, 12% more than in 2018 and 53% more than in 2013


20 January 2020 07:53 PM



Hospitals in Catalonia carried out a record number of organ transplants in 2019 for the sixth year in a row, said the health department on Monday. 

In all, there were some 1,296 transplants, 12.6% more than in 2018, and 53% more than in 2013, when 847 transplants were carried out.

According to the data from the Catalan Transplant Organization (OCATT), the figures make Catalonia a global leader in terms of transplants.

At 169 transplants per million inhabitants, Catalonia has one of the highest rates in the world, with the Spanish average at 116 and the European average at 67.

Transplant every seven hours

OCATT estimates that a transplant takes place in Catalonia every seven hours, which works out at more than three operations a day.

Meanwhile, body donation also hit a record high, with 376 donors last year, 14.6% more than in 2018, with donations from living people halting a five-year decline, at 134. 

Health minister, Alba Vergés, called the growth in transplants "spectacular" and "exceptional," and she thanked donors and their families for their generosity.

General rise in operations

In fact, all types of transplants went up last year, except for heart transplants, which at 70 operations was much the same as the year before (71).

Some 882 kidney transplants were done (14.1% more than 2018), 197 liver transplants (8.2% more), 120 lung transplants (up 15.4%), and 27 pancreas transplants (up 28.6%).

A total of 49 children received a transplant last year, four less than in 2018, of which 24 were kidney transplants, 19 liver transplants, 2 heart transplants, and 4 lung transplants.

Eight different hospitals

As for the eight hospitals that did the transplants, 333 were in Vall d'Hebron, 312 in Clínic, 279 in Bellvitge, 124 in Mar, 113 in Germans Trias i Pujol, 112 in Fundació Puigvert, 17 in Sant Pau, and 6 in Sant Joan de Déu.

Since the first organ transplant in Hospital Clínic in 1965, Catalan hospitals have carried out more than 25,000 such operations, specifically 25,369 on December 31, 2019.

Of that number, over a thousand were on children. Of the 1,003 transplants carried out on children, over half (517) were kidneys, 361 were livers, 73 lungs, and 52 hearts.

There were 1,217 people in Catalonia waiting for an organ transplant at the end of 2019, some 1,054 of whom need a kidney, while 19 of them are children.


  • Barcelona's Sant Joan de Déu hospital

  • Barcelona's Sant Joan de Déu hospital