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Spanish generosity as bone marrow donations soar 

Spain continues to demonstrate its solidarity, this time in terms of bone marrow donation.

As at the end of July, Spain had close on 340,000 bone marrow donors, an increase of 20% over the first seven months of this year. Since the launch of the National Bone Marrow Plan in January 2013, the number of donors in Spain has increased by 216%.

More specifically, data from the Spanish Register of Bone Marrow Donors of the Spanish National Transplant Organisati) list 55,796 new donors registered by the regional governments over the first seven months of the year. This is far higher than the figure of 40,000 forecast for the year as a whole.

The registration of new donors has also speeded up this year, rising to an average of 7,970 people per month (double the planned figure) and representing 265 new bone marrow donors per day.

This is a record increase that surpasses all forecasts for the second stage of the National Bone Marrow Plan, the first stage of which was launched by the Spanish National Transplant Organisation in 2013 in partnership with the regional governments. The initial goal to reach 200,000 donors in four years was achieved far ahead of schedule, so the second stage of the plan was launched in 2015 with a goal to add 40,000 new donors per year up to 400,000 donors by the end of 2020. Should this rate of growth continue, Spain will foreseeably surpass this figure in 2018 – two years ahead of schedule.

As regards the donor profile, the average age of new donors in 2017 stands at 34. 60% of new donors are women, while 40% are men. However, this proportion is reversed when examining the figures on actual donations – 64% are from men and 36% are from women. In light of this figure, experts advocate increasing bone marrow donation among young men.