MADRID, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Spain broke its own record for the number of organ transplants carried out in 2017, according to figures published by the country's National Transplant Organization (ONT) on Thursday.
The ONT reports 2017 saw a total of 5,259 transplant operations, of which the majority were kidney and liver, beating 2016's record of 4,818 transplants.
Spain also had a higher average of organ donors with 46.9 donors per million people in 2017, compared with 43.9 per million in 2016 and 39.7 in 2015.
This is well above the EU average of 19.6 donors per million and the U.S. average of 26.6 per million, and made easier by the fact 10 percent of donors in Spain are over 80 years old.
Spanish Minister for Health Dolores Montserrat said the 2017 data means that Spain has topped the global list of transplants for 26 consecutive years.
"In the last three years the donation rate per million population has increased by 30 percent, which is extraordinary when starting from a situation of excellence and if you taking into account how difficult it is to be a successful donor," she said.