File photograph. / PIXABAY

Number of organ transplants in Spain has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels

It is now possible to carry out transplants from donors who have had Covid-19 or who tested positive shortly before the donation, experts attending a conference in Malaga have revealed

Ángel Escalera

There were fewer organ transplants in Spain in 2020, because of the pandemic. The situation improved last year and now the situation is practically back to normal, so it is hoped that by the end of 2022 or early 2023 the number of transplants will be similar to those in 2019, before anyone had heard of Covid-19.

This information was revealed today, Friday 13 May, at a press conference at the start of the seventh conference of the Spanish Transplant Society (SET) at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos in Malaga, which will continue until Sunday and is being attended by over 450 Spanish and international experts.

Doctors Hernández and Miñambres, before the start of the conference. / ñito salas

The president of the SET, Domingo Hernández, said that the coronavirus vaccine, more knowledge about the virus and innovative treatments have meant that the donor and transplant situation has almost returned to 2019 levels. He also explained that last year the Regional Hospital in Malaga carried out 127 kidney transplants, 50 liver transplants and nine pancreas transplants. In Spain as a whole, the number of donors and transplants rose by 8% and 7% respectively in 2021, he said.

4,781 transplant operations last year

The most recent figures from the National Transplant Organisation show that there were 4,781 transplant operations in Spain last year, which is a rate of 101 transplants per one million of the population.

Another specialist, Eduardo Miñambres, also explained that, thanks to the specific protocols put in place to deal with the coronavirus, it has been possible to carry out transplants from donors who had had Covid-19 or who tested positive for the virus shortly before making the donation.