The Minister of Health during her speech at the Donor Day event. Photo from the Ministry of Healt

Spain reaches a historical maximum with 435 kidney transplants from living donors in one year

Opening ceremony of the National Organ, Tissue and Cell Donor Day, which this year has been dedicated to living organ donation

Redacción Thursday, June 6, 2024 / 10:12

Spain reached 435 kidney transplants from living donors last year, according to data from the National Transplant Organization (ONT). “A historical maximum if we take into account that in 2000 19 interventions were carried out,” highlighted the Minister of Health, Mónica García.

This was stated at the opening ceremony of the day for the National Organ, Tissue and Cell Donor Day, which this year was dedicated to living organ donation and which took place at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health.

During her speech, Mónica García explains that “this day is an opportunity to honor donors and their families, but also to remember the importance of donating organs, tissues and cells as the ultimate example of altruism, solidarity and social commitment.”.

Since the ONT was created in 1989 until December 31, 2023, 5,913 people donated a kidney while alive in Spain and 509 donated part of their liver. Therefore, he points out, “about 6,500 people made this donation while they were alive. We dedicate National Donor Day to these living donors this year.”

If in 2000 19 interventions were performed, “last year a historical maximum of 435 procedures was reached. This growth responds to the need for kidney transplants in the population but above all to the better results offered compared to deceased donors.”


According to ONT data, the average age of the living kidney donor in 2023 was 54.4 years . Furthermore, 7 out of 10 were women. Of the 435 live kidney transplants performed last year, 17 were carried out in boys and girls.

In this sense, the head of Health highlighted that “a living transplant program cannot be conceived without a guarantee of comprehensive protection of the person who donates, both from a medical and socio-laboral point of view.”

For this reason, he recalled that last week the Congress of Deputies unanimously approved the admission for processing of a bill that improves labor protection for living organ donors.

Until now, he noted, “the person who donated an organ or part of it was covered with a temporary disability benefit for common illness, which did not protect the donor throughout the entire process until recovery. “This bill creates a specific protection regime for them.”


The introduction of less invasive techniques also allows for a faster recovery of the donor after surgery. In addition, he stressed that in cases where the donor and recipient are incompatible, the ONT created the cross-kidney transplant program 15 years ago.

The director of the ONT, Beatriz Domínguez-Gil , also spoke on this day, remarking that “this day is an initiative from patients to donors.” It was an initiative of Alcer Aragón and later assumed by the National Federation for the fight against Kidney Diseases (Alcer Spain) and joined by the patient associations that make up the transplant unit.

The objective of this day is twofold: “the tribute to those people who, upon death, decided to donate organs and tissues and, of course, to their families who, in that tragic moment of losing a loved one, say yes to the donation.” he added.

Additionally, this initiative wants to honor those people who donate organs, tissues or cells during their lifetime. On the other hand, he added, “it is a day when we remember the importance of donation due to the impact on health that donation has through transplantation.”

“With living donation you can donate a kidney or part of the liver “and it is normally done to a loved one and although it is rare it can also be donated to a stranger,” said the director of the ONT.

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