Spain Is World Leader In Kidney Transplantation…Here’s What That Means

As of now, Spain leads the world in organ donations, a position they have maintained for 26 years straight. In 2017, Spain had 2,183 people become organ donors upon death; this, statistically speaking comes to 46.9 per million people in population. Croatia came in second place with 38.6 per million people in population.

The biggest reason cited by investigators was the Opt-Out system. In Spain, a patient is presumed to be a consenting organ donor upon death whether they have registered or not. Family members can tell doctors no, however, though Spanish doctors make efforts to explain the benefits and value of donating organs.

The impact is great. Last year Spain had 5,260 transplant surgeries.

These included:

  • 3,200 kidney transplants
  • 1,200 liver transplants
  • 360 lung transplants
  • 300 heart transplants


One of the major arguments for countries adopting similar programs as Spain is that it saves the people and the country a great deal of money. It reduced the amount of long term treatment programs which saves the healthcare system money. Nationwide, Spain has trained 16,000 doctors and nurses in organ donation and transplantation.

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