Nevada Group Says State's Organ Transplant Pool Needs More Diversity

KNPR | Nikole Robinson Carroll

IStockphoto The Nevada Donor Network wants more people of color to donate.

More than 123,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list and more than half of those patients are from minority populations.

The minority waiting list and recipient numbers far outpace the number of minority organ and tissue donors.

The first week in August was National Minority Donor Awareness Week, but Alma Rodriguez, Multicultural Outreach Coordinator for the Nevada Donor Network, says multicultural donation is an issue that’s important all year.

She said because certain diseases, like high blood pressure and diabetes, that can end up requiring people to get organ transplants are more prevalent in people of color, it is more likely that population will need organ transplants.

While organs are not allocated based on ethnic backgrounds, genetics do play a role and the chance of rejection is lowered when the ethnic backgrounds of donor and the recipient are the same. PODCAST, continue reading