Optimizing Cadaveric Organ Procurement: the Catalan and Spanish Experience


*Corresponding author: J. M. Grinyó, grinyo@ibernet.com


The need to face the increasing gap between the supply and the demand of transplants has led to the development of a permanent network of trained medical staff responsible for the organ donation and removal process in all centers accredited for that process. In Spain, this activity received a specific budget, like any other medical activity in hospitals, and the responsible staff became accountable for performance. This system dramatically increased the number of potential donors referred, not only young donors with trauma, but also elderly donors dying from stroke. The effect was that the donation rate increased by more than 100% in 10 years (from 14 to 34 donors per million population). Consequently, so did all the transplant figures. In some areas, such as Catalonia, it has been demonstrated that sustained kidney transplant activity of over 60 procedures per million population can maintain or slightly decrease the waiting list, despite increasing incidence and prevalence of end-stage renal failure. Quality monitoring of the donation and retrieval process shows that there are still opportunities for improvement if all potential donors are referred and all technical problems are overcome. Living donation and nonheart beating organ retrieval should also be promoted.