How can we increase organ donations?

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Spain is regarded as one of the world leaders when it comes to organ donation with 40 donors and more than 100 transplant procedures per million population in 2015.

In a new review published in the American Journal of Transplantation experts say other countries can learn from the success of the Spanish system to help address the worldwide problem of transplant organ shortages, with doctors playing a key role.

The Spanish model makes it a priority to identify donation opportunities in intensive care units, in emergency departments and hospital wards. In addition, it considers organ donation from persons over the age of 65 years.

Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, Spain’s Organización Nacional de Trasplantes (ONT), a technical agency in charge of the coordination and oversight of donation and transplantation activities and co-author of the article says the most important success is that the system has made organ donation be routinely considered when a patient dies, regardless of the circumstances of death. "Professionals attending to these patients in our country consider that, in caring for patients at the end of their lives, it is their duty to systematically explore their wishes with regards to donating organs upon their death."