National Initiative Focuses on Minority Health and Encourages Donor Registration
Las Vegas – Nevada Donor Network (NDN) celebrates National Minority Donor Awareness Week during the week of August 1 through August 7. This national initiative is intended to increase awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation within multicultural communities. The observance honors both heroic donors and grateful recipients who are of multicultural descent, while also encouraging the public to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor.
It is also a time to promote healthy habits to prevent the future need of a transplant. Health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension occur more frequently in multicultural populations, and increase the risk of organ failure. More than half of the national transplant waiting list is comprised of patients from minority populations.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are more than 117,000 patients waiting for a lifesaving gift. 58% are from a multicultural community. Of these statistics, 32% are Hispanic, 29% are African-American, 16% American-Indian/Alaska-Native, 13% Asian, 9 % Pacific Islander and 1% Multiracial.
Currently, in Nevada, there are more than 500 patients waiting for a lifesaving transplant. A new name is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. There are 22 people who die every day in the U.S. because they do not receive a transplant in time. Nevada holds the 41st spot in the nation for the number of registered minority donors. Research has shown that Caucasians are three times more likely to register than Hispanics, African-Americans and Asians. If donor registration among multicultural populations increases, there is potential to increase access to lifesaving transplants for those who desperately wait. While organs are not matched with potential recipients based on race or ethnicity, there can be a higher likelihood of achieving a closer match if the donor hero and recipient share the same ethnic background.
During National Minority Donor Awareness Week, NDN is asking community members to register as a hero at www.registerme.org or sign up to donate life using the Health App/ Medical ID tab of their Apple iPhone. To learn more about donation in Nevada, please visit www.nvdonor.org