Number of transplants increased in 2022 and the lung reached the highest number ever

In 2021, Portugal occupied the 4th place in the world ranking of organ donation from deceased donors

The number of organ transplants reached 814 last year, 15 more than in 2021, reveal data released today, according to which the highest ever number of transplanted lungs was reached.

Data on the national activity of organ donation and transplantation in 2022 in Portugal, released by the Instituto Português do Sangue e da Transplantação (IPST), through the National Transplantation Coordination, state that the results «were globally positive, consistently resuming the post-pandemic growth».

Regarding the oscillations of transplantation in 2022 compared to 2021, the National Transplantation Coordination highlights, in a statement, that «lung transplantation has been on an upward slope since 2016, reaching in 2022 the highest number of lungs transplanted to date, 76 organs in 39 patients (increase of 18,8%), with the pandemic not having a major impact on the activity».

The data, which will be presented on Thursday at the Centro de Sangue e Transplantação de Coimbra, also indicate that, although liver (liver) transplantation has not yet recovered to pre-pandemic values, it has remained relatively stable, despite the decrease in activity by 4,7%.

As for the pancreas, which is usually performed in the context of a double kidney-pancreas transplant, the data indicate that it had "an important peak in 2018", but in 2022 it maintained the stability of other years, having registered an increase of 13,6% compared to to 2021, with 25 transplants.

Heart transplantation had “a significant decrease” of 24,5% compared to 2021, the year in which “a significant peak in activity” was recorded, while kidney transplantation is “the largest volume transplant in Portugal”, having been recovering after pandemic, albeit in a very stable way.

In 2022, kidney transplantation represented 53,2% of all transplanted organs, having increased by 25 transplants (5,5%) with “a significant expression of living donor transplantation”.

«The cross-renal donation programme, aimed at patients with major immunological incompatibilities, allowed in 2022 to carry out five transplants from a living donor in two cycles, with a first cycle of two transplants and a second of three transplants (triggered by an altruistic donor )», stresses the authority.

In 2021, Portugal occupied 4th place in the world ranking of organ donation from deceased donors, with 29,6 donors per million inhabitants (pmh), highlighting the United States of America, which led, followed by Spain and Ireland.

«In 2022 we had 30,85 donors pmh, although these are still considered preliminary», he says, adding that the donation of organs from deceased donors (319 donors) maintained its upward trend, with an increase of 5,6%.

The causes of death, in the deceased donor, were in 75,9% of cases due to medical illness and of these, 67% due to cerebrovascular accident.

According to the authority, the donation in life was “more expressive” than in 2021, with greater emphasis on the kidney, similar to the cadaver donor with a growing trend in the face of the pandemic years.

At this point, he also highlights the existence of a National Crossed Kidney Donation program, in which it was possible to transplant five people from the program, “one of which was triggered by the first altruistic kidney donor in Portugal”.

In the deceased donor, the data highlight the increase in the total number of donors by 5,6%, with an increase of 2,5% in the number of organs harvested, but note that, despite this increase, the rate of use of organs in donors deceased decreased from 87% to 84%.

They also show the donation in cardiocirculatory arrest for better results than the pre-pandemic ones.