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May 5, 2020

Diversity Among Organ Donors

By Olivia White, @oliviawhite

diversity among donors

On the national waiting list for organ transplant, multicultural patients make up a large percentage of the waiting list. These communities are in great need of organ and tissue donors. When it comes to solid organ donation a few things are used as criteria to determine an organ ‘match’. These include things like a blood type and similar body size between donor and recipient. However, there is one other criteria that isn't talked about as often: the need for diversity among donors. In 2019, 67% of those waiting 5+ years for an organ were of ethnic or multiracial backgrounds. Also in 2019, 67% of those who were solid organ donors were of Caucasian decent.

Although donation and transplantation can take place successfully between individuals from different racial or ethnic groups, transplant success is often better when organs are matched between people of the same racial or ethnic background. This is why donors from every ethnic background are important for the success of transplant.

Adding more registry members who increase the ethnic diversity of the registry increases the variety of tissue types available. This helps those in need of an organ transplant find the match they need.

People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves as potential donors. Your medical conditions will be assessed at the time of your death to determine which organs and tissues can be donated safely. You can sign up today here.





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