Journal Information
Vol. 44. Issue 1.
Pages 57-58 (January - February 2020)
Vol. 44. Issue 1.
Pages 57-58 (January - February 2020)
Scientific Letter
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The donation and transplant divulgation process of 21st century: Social media experience from “Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes de Sevilla-Huelva”
El proceso de divulgación de la donación y el trasplante del siglo XXI: experiencia en redes sociales de «Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes de Sevilla-Huelva»
J.J. Egea-Guerreroa,
Corresponding author
, L. Martín-Villénb, Z. Ruiz de Azúa-Lópezb, F. Maroto Monserratc, J.A. Sanchez-Románd, F. Cabeza-Cabezae
a Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes Sevilla-Huelva, Sevilla, Spain
b Coordinación de Trasplantes, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Sevilla, Spain
c Coordinación de Trasplantes, Hospital San Juan de Dios del Aljarafe, Bormujos, Sevilla, Spain
d Coordinación de Trasplantes, Hospital Universitario Virgen de Valme, Sevilla, Spain
e Coordinación de Trasplantes, Hospital Universitario Juan Ramón Jiménez, Huelva, Spain
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The greater access of the general public to the Internet powerful browsers and the growing number of platforms to interact with other users is a reality of our time. The social media (SM) have changed dramatically the way we communicate with each other and receive information both on the personal and professional level.1,2 However, even today, healthcare providers are still skeptical on their participation in the SM. Sometimes because they’re not social media savvy or because they don’t have enough tools to use them. So, despite the benefits derived from SM, it seems clear that they are underused in the Spanish healthcare setting today, especially when it comes to revealing donation-transplant programs.3,4

The Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes (Sectoral Distribution of Transplants, in English) decided to join the SM progressively back in 2015. The results presented here come from a multicenter study that included all public hospitals from Seville and Huelva and private centers authorized to handle organ donation.5 The different profiles opened were approved by the Autonomous Coordination of Transplants of Andalusia and the Department of Health of the Council of Andalusia. The following profiles were created: Facebook® (Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes), Twitter® (@coordtxSevHuelv), and Instagram® (Coordinaciontrasplantessvqhu). Two transplant coordinators were appointed as part of the editorial committee leading the content posted on Facebook® and Twitter®. The news posted should have to do with the donation-transplant process only. News on our coordination network broadcast by traditional mass media—press, TV, and radio—were prioritized including training and educational activities developed by transplant coordinators. The images of patients and relatives were preserved at all time and no news about specific donation-transplant processes were broadcast whatsoever. Instagram® was the platform used for people to pick the commemorative “Donors Day” poster of 2017. The rules of the contest were published, and 2 deadlines were set. The first deadline established the time remaining for users to upload their images with the hashtag of transplant coordination. The second deadline was set so all users could make their pick automatically by liking the poster they loved the most. The data available on the different applications was exported to the SPSS® statistical software. Based on their distribution, quantitative variables were expressed as mean and interquartile range (IQR).

Since its inauguration, the total number of Facebook® followers grew to 5000. Afterwards, the “personal account” was migrated to “social media site”, and 4070 people joined in less than a week. The number of visualizations per news was estimated by counting the last 50 news posted since September 1st, 2017. This analysis confirmed that the average number of visualizations of Facebook® social media site was 1699 users/news (IQR: 1.047,50–2.636,00). The news with the highest number of users had a total of 9704 visits and had to do with “2017 Donors Day Acts”. The social media site still holds the highest score (5/5) since it opened. We only found one negative comment in a thread posted with positive comments about a news story. However, it did not have an impact on future comments. On Twitter® we now have 196 followers. We designed a logo with a specific hashtag for this network: #yodonovida (#idonatelife, in English) (Fig. 1). Finally, Instagram® was used to find out what poster won the contest with a total of 2500 likes.

Figure 1.

Specific logo for social media use including the hashtag designed for Twitter®.


Our daily activity involves continuous care which is essential to have successful results. It is obvious that in other public-private sectors, companies have placed the SM at the forefront of their advertising campaigns to spread their message exponentially. In this sense, exploring new ways of communication with patients and relatives helps us meet their needs.6 We believe that this theoretical framework inspired in the Transplant Coordination Networks brings us closer to the general population, puts the spotlight on our work, and serves as the liaison with associations of transplanted patients, among other benefits. Reaching high donation rates (90% in Andalusia) builds on society's trust in our public health system.7

We should mention here that we have recently piloted successful experiences targeted at transplanted patients that have been highly rated by our users.3 No negative responses have been given to these experiences as our SM clearly show. We must admit though that our time is limited, and these activities need to be articulated in short easy-to-read messages optimized in different platforms. However, there are SM we still have not explored such as Youtube®, among others. Yet despite this fact, we believe that our presence in the social media mentioned above is enough. We should mention here that the doctors in charge of these SM had normal—not advanced—user skills.

There is no question that, from the healthcare standpoint, we need to observe a series of basic rules regarding the publication of contents on the social media. As a matter of fact, the Spanish College of Physicians has a specific document on this regard whose reading we hereby recommend.8 We agree with other authors that, from the healthcare standpoint, we cannot stay away from this reality. Also, we need specific training to remain updated and catch up with patients and citizens.2

To this day and in light of our results, we assess our experience in the management of SM as highly positive in our setting.


We wish to thank the Seville and Huelva Transplant Coordination Networks, the transplant teams, and other associations for their collaboration in this initiative. We especially wish to thank Curro Borrajeros for helping us design our logo. Lastly, we want to have a few words for the relatives of donors who help us on a daily basis with the SM to spread the message “Say Yes to Donation”.

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Please cite this article as: Egea-Guerrero JJ, Martín-Villén L, Ruiz de Azúa-López Z, Maroto Monserrat F, Sanchez-Román JA, Cabeza-Cabeza F. El proceso de divulgación de la donación y el trasplante del siglo XXI: experiencia en redes sociales de «Coordinación Sectorial de Trasplantes de Sevilla-Huelva». Med Intensiva. 2020;44:57–58.

Copyright © 2018. Elsevier España, S.L.U. and SEMICYUC
Medicina Intensiva (English Edition)
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