Spain leads the world in terms of the number of organ transplants carried out with 34.2 per million inhabitants, almost twice the EU average (18.2) and eight points ahead of the USA (26.3).
According to the latest issue of the Transplant Newsletter, official publication of the Council of Europe's Transplant Commission, 14.3% of all transplants carried out in the EU in 2008 were performed in Spain.
99,321 organ transplants were carried out across the globe in 2008, a 2.6% increase on the previous year. 68,250 of all transplants were kidney, 19,850 liver, 5,179 heart, 3,245 lung and 2,797 pancreas.
Europe, which had seen a downward trend in organ donation over the past few years, seems to have reversed that trend with 18.2 donations per million inhabitants compared with 16.8 the previous year.
The number of organ donors is on the rise in Spain and in the UK, but conversely is dropping in Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Despite the verall rise in the number of donors in the EU as a whole, the number of transplants being carried out has stagnated at around 28,000 per year, because of the progressive ageing of the donor population.
The report also cites the number of people waiting for donor organs. On 31st December 2008 there were 63,107 Europeans waiting for a transplant (61.905 en 2007).
It is estimated that on average 12 Europeans die every day waiting for a transplant.
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