Bellvitge University Hospital was Catalonia’s leading centre in adult organ transplants in 2021


For the third year in a row, it was also the hospital performing the most kidney transplants in Catalonia

In addition, it was once again the Catalan hospital with the highest number of organ donors and the second in tissue donation

It has also led in heart transplants in Catalonia

During 2021, Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB) performed as much as 259 adult organ transplants. Despite the impact of the 2nd year of COVID-19, 193 kidney transplants, 41 liver transplants and 25 heart transplants were carried out in 2021. These data, provided today by the OCATT (Catalan Transplant Organisation), place the HUB as Catalonia’s leading hospital both for kidney transplants, with almost 25% of those performed, and for heart transplants. Regarding the latter, HUB has carried out half of all adult transplants.

Another HUB’s important transplantation milestone in 2021 was the first heart transplant using a heart from a donor in controlled asystole ever carried out in Catalonia.

The 193 kidney transplants performed at HUB in 2021 mean an increase of 30% compared to 2020. Moreover, HUB participated, together with Hospital Clínic from Barcelona and a Portuguese hospital, in the first international southern European chain to perform a living-donor cross kidney transplantation. This programme was created to respond to incompatible donor-recipient pairs. At the national level, HUB has participated in six of seven cross kidney transplants performed in 2020 in Spain.

Besides that, Bellvitge was the Catalan hospital with the highest number of cadaveric donors, up to 58, and of living renal donors, up to 40 (in this case together with Barcelona’s Hospital Clínic). Regarding the former, donations were both from donors with brain death (59%) and with asystole -heart failure- (the remaining 41%).

In terms of tissue donation, HUB ranked second in Catalonia for the first time, with 299 donors. In addition, it was first in obtaining heart valves, with up to 43. The figures achieved in this area consolidate HUB as one of the leading centres in Spain in the first and unquestionable link of the transplant system.

According to Dr Nicolás Manito, director of the Transplant Programme at Bellvitge University Hospital, "these milestones show once again that our hospital is a tertiary centre, leading in highly complex care processes that require both a high level of experience and high technology, such as organ transplants. All this has been achieved in very difficult times for the healthcare and thanks to the generosity of the families as well as to the excellence, effort, networking and experience of the multidisciplinary medical, surgical, nursing and central services teams".

According to data presented today at a press conference by Jaume Tort, the director of the OCATT, after the 2020 downturn due to the emergency caused by COVID-19, transplant figures have recovered in Catalonia, with an increase of 6.4% and over a thousand surgeries. In the HUB, the increase in transplants has been up to 22%. Dr Gabriel Moreno, the hospital’s transplant coordinator, took part in the press conference presenting the 2021 data as a representative of the coordinators of the Catalan hospitals. In his speech, Dr Moreno highlighted that the key factors in "not losing any donors" have been the ability to adapt to the circumstances arising from COVID-19, the support of the centre's management, and the coordinated work performed by the transplant teams.