More than 5,000 transplants performed in 2021, less than before the Covid-19

More than 5,000 organ transplants were performed in France in 2021, a level significantly lower than the pre-health crisis despite a one-off rebound, announced Wednesday the health agency which manages these medical acts. Last year, 5,273 transplants were performed, the vast majority kidney transplants, according to the annual review of the Biomedicine Agency, which depends on the Ministry of Health.

This is a sharp increase – nearly 20% – compared to 2020. But the comparison is distorted by the fact that that year was very disturbed by the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis. Kidney and pancreas transplants, in particular, had been suspended during the first confinement. “We do not yet find the pre-crisis level”, explained at a press conference Emmanuelle Cortot-Boucher, director general of the agency.

A downward trend since 2017

“We are about 10% below it,” she said. The trend, with more or less marked variations, is the same for all transplanted organs: kidneys, pancreas, heart, lungs, livers have all recorded a clear increase compared to 2020, but a wider downward trend. This cannot be explained only by the Covid crisis, which has certainly considerably accelerated the movement by monopolizing operating theaters on several occasions.

The trend was in fact downward since a peak in transplants observed in 2017 for a number of reasons, ranging from a still high refusal rate to better management of strokes. This is obviously good news, as Emmanuelle Cortot-Boucher pointed out, but it actually decreases the number of bodies from which samples can be taken.

The agency does not currently set objectives for the coming years, referring to work “in progress” at the ministry in order to set a new plan over several years in the coming weeks.

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