THE SPANISH Health Service has an enviable history of being a world leader in organ transplants and held the world record of 14 donors in a single day which was set in February 2014.
On December 14, however, it smashed that record by receiving 16 donors and undertaking no less than 38 transplants.
Prime Minister Rajoy tweeted “I congratulate the health teams and institutions that have made this possible. Admirable generosity of the Spanish” while the National Transplant Organisation said that the record was due to “the huge generosity of Spaniards and the enormous efficiency of the Spanish transplant network”
The transplants which consisted of 21 kidneys, nine livers, five lungs (of which three were double lung transplants), two hearts and one double pancreas and kidney transplant were carried out in 29 hospitals across 11 of Spain’s autonomous communities.
Six specialist teams carrying the organs in special ice boxes travelled around the country, using 12 airports in that single day to make sure the organs reached their destination as quickly as possible.
It should be noted that unlike a number of other countries including the UK that all Spaniards are opted in to the organ donation system and have to consciously opt out in order to remove their name. This of course means that the potential number of donors is much higher than in a country were donation is voluntary.