Here's How This European Country Saves the Most Lives 

Transplant | ©scotth23/Pixabay
Jessica Jones

One European country has been a world leader in organ donations and transplants for an incredible 26 years. We discover the reasons behind its success.

Spain has beaten its own record as the world leader in organ transplants according to figures released by the country’s National Transplant Organisation.

In 2017, a total of 5,259 transplants were carried out, topping 5,000 transplants for the first time and way ahead of 2016’s 4,818. The number was equivalent to 46.9 transplants per million people, more than double the European Union average (21.5) and significantly more than the United States (30.8)

“It is the best data in our history,” said Spain’s health minister Dolors Montserrat in a press conference to unveil the latest figures. She emphasised that Spain’s status as the world leader in transplants was due to equality.

“We are all the same, wherever we are from. Our donation and transplant model is an international example and one of the assets of Spain,” Montserrat said.

Spain is a world example when it comes to transplants

Spain has seen a 30 percent rise in organ donations since 2014.

One important reason for the high number of organ donations and transplants in Spain is that the country has an opt-out system, in which every citizen is automatically registered as an organ donor and can then choose whether they want to opt out.

This is the opposite of countries such as the United Kingdom, which operates an opt in system, which means no one is automatically registered and citizens must choose to sign up to the organ donation register.

Several other reasons for the increase include a rising number of family members agreeing to transplants, and more transplants from people who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

Spain also has a relatively high upper age limit for donors – over half of the donations carried out in 2017 were from people over 60 and over 30 percent were from people over the age of 70.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article