Bellvitge Hospital was the centre that performed the most living donor kidney transplants in Spain in 2023

- Certificacions

It was the hospital that carried out the most heart transplants in Catalonia

It has also once again been the leader in tissue donation among the Catalan health centres

Throughout 2023, Bellvitge University Hospital (HUB) conducted a total of 291 organ transplants in adults. Among these, 214 were kidney transplants (including 51 from living donors), 56 were liver transplants, and 21 were heart transplants (with seven of the latter performed in asystole cases). These efforts from HUB significantly contributed to Catalonia's new record for the total number of transplants in 2023, reaching an impressive 1,393 figure. Furthermore, for the second successive year, the HUB led tissue donation in Catalonia, with 345 donors.

The official data made public this week by the OCATT (Catalan Transplant Organisation) and the ONT (National Transplant Organisation) consolidate Bellvitge Hospital as one of the leading and benchmark centres in the transplant system in its three main areas of activity: renal, cardiac and hepatic.

Dr Gabriel Moreno González, director of the Transplant Programme at Bellvitge Hospital, highlights that "thanks to a great multidisciplinary work: we have consolidated complex techniques such as heart donation in asystole; we continue to increase the number of liver transplants; and, we have led live kidney transplants and tissue donation, increasing the number of multi-tissue donors, which means increasing the number of people whose quality of life is improved".

"All this would not have been possible without the generosity of donors and their families, to whom we turn at a very difficult time in their lives asking them to be able to give life to others," concludes the director of the HUB’s Transplant Programme. Bellvitge Hospital was the third centre in Spain in terms of the number of donors, with a total of 64 (38 in asystole and 26 in brain death).

A total of 51 of the kidney transplants performed at the HUB in 2023 were made possible thanks to a living donor. Thanks to this technique, more than half of the patients with chronic kidney disease have not needed previous dialysis. This is the highest number of living donors achieved at the HUB to date (24% of all kidney transplants at the centre) and places it as the centre with the highest activity in this type of transplant in Spain. It should also be noted that 90% of these 51 transplants have been carried out with robotic surgery, which puts the HUB at the forefront of Catalan centres in the use of this technology for living-donor kidney transplants. Many of these patients have required highly complex strategies such as cross-transplantation and/or transplantation against incompatible blood group or ABO. With 214 kidney transplants performed last year, the HUB is the second centre in Spain in this field.

On the other hand, Bellvitge Hospital has been the centre that has performed the most heart transplants in Catalonia, a total of 21, 7 of which came from donors in asystole. In 2021, the HUB performed the first heart transplant with a heart from a donor in controlled asystole in Catalonia. Since then, it has carried out 17 heart transplants in controlled asystole, making it the second hospital in Spain in this field, with a 100% survival rate for heart transplants carried out in 2023.

In terms of liver transplantation, the HUB has increased by almost 11% in 2023 compared to the previous year, to 56 operations. For the second consecutive year, the hospital has increased its liver transplant activity, reducing list and postoperative mortality. The expansion of indications and the optimisation of grafts with hypothermic perfusion have been some of the key factors in the results.

Bellvitge Hospital leads the increase in tissue donations

In 2023 the HUB was once again, for the second consecutive year, the Catalan centre with the highest tissue donation activity, with a total of 345 donors. Thanks to these donors, almost 500 tissues of different types (ocular, cutaneous, bone, tendon, valve, vascular and live valves) have been obtained. The tissue donation programme, led by the Transplant Coordination nursing team, has achieved this goal 5 years after starting the project with an innovative model that involves interdisciplinary collaboration with other professionals at the HUB.

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