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Italy sets new record for organ donations

Italy among top countries in Europe for organ donations.

2022 was a record year for organ, tissue and hematopoietic stem cell donations in Italy, according to a new report presented by the national transplant centre (CNT) in Rome on Tuesday.

“For the first time, organ donations in Italy exceeded 1,800 in one year, with a significant increase also in transplants: 3,887, the second best result ever", said Italian health minister Orazio Schillaci.

The report confirmed a growing trend in organ donation already seen in 2021, returning to pre-covid levels and in many cases recording the highest numbers ever registered by the national transplant system.

The surge in organ donations and transplants "places Italy in the first places in Europe" said Schillaci, who presented the report alongside CNT director Massimo Cardillo and the president of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) Silvio Brusaferro.

Italy now ranks in second place in Europe for organ donation, after Spain and together with France, reports Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The CNT report shows that organ donations in Italy last year exceeded 1,800 (+3.7 per cent), with the Tuscany region recording the highest donation rate (49.3 per cent).

There were 3,887 transplants carried out in Italy last year (+2.5 per cent) with a record number of liver transplants: 1,474 (+5.6 per cent) and lung transplants: 138 (+17.9 per cent).

2022 was also a record year for bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cells, with 329 donations (+9.7 per cent) and 961 transplants (+3.1 per cent).

The health ministry noted however that, in relation to people giving their consent for organ donation, "unfortunately there are still too many NOs".

Records from the TNT (as of 31 December 2022) showed those willing to donate organs exceeded 14.5 million, with 72 per cent giving their consent and 28 per cent refusing.

Health minister Schillaci acknowledged that there are still many patients in Italy waiting for a transplant and underlined the importance of continuing to "invest in promoting the culture of donating".

Schillaci announced that the health ministry would launch a new awareness campaign on 16 April, on the occasion of the National Day for Organ and Tissue Donation.

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