The number of transplants in France decreases … because there is less stroke

Illustration of photo Julio PELAEZ
Illustration of photo Julio PELAEZ

Last year, 5,771 transplants were performed in France, all the organs put together. This is 324 less than in 2017 (6.105). It is also lower than in 2016 (5,891).

Most of this decline comes from kidney transplants, which are also the most popular: there were 3.546 last year (of which 537 thanks to a living donor) against the 3.782 of 2017 (611 thanks to a living donor).

Behind kidney transplants, in 2018, there were 1,323 liver transplants (of which 14 thanks to a living donor, which gives a part of this organ), 450 of heart, 372 of lungs, 78 of pancreas, 9 of heart -poumons and 3 intestines.

State of brain death

Most transplants, all the combined organs, are made up of dead brain donors. However, if their number was 1,796 in 2017, it dropped to 1,743 last year. The main cause of the decline in the number of transplants is therefore paradoxically positive.

"Fifty donors less, can lead to 200 less transplants," since several organs can be taken from each donor, recalls Professor Olivier Bastien, director of sampling at the Agency for Biomedicine.

15% less mortality

Thanks to information campaigns and better care, "in recent years stroke mortality has decreased by 15%", according to the agency.

"This is a great success of medicine, leading to less availability of grafts," said Professor Yves Pérel, Deputy Director General of the Agency.

Another reason cited is the winter influenza epidemic of 2017-18, which "heavily mobilized hospital teams, especially intensive care units," according to the agency. Consequence: these teams were less available for sampling.

"Alleged consent", the standard

The decrease in the number of samples is not due to a greater number of waste from deceased donors.

"The rejection rate dropped from 33% in 2016 to 30% last year," Bastien said.

If one does not wish to give his organs after his death, there are two ways to let him know: to tell his relatives or to register during his life on a national waste register.

Otherwise, the law believes that everyone is a potential donor, according to the principle of "presumed consent".


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