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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Many African-Americans Need Transplants -- But Very Few are Organ Donors!

African American patient needing an organ transplant

Over the years, studies show that a growing number of African-Americans have been in need of an organ transplant. However, not as many are willing to donate their organs, whether living or deceased. The reason: most have been misinformed about organ donation.
According to the latest research done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 115,000 people waiting for an organ donation in the United States. About 30% of those are African-Americans, despite being only 13% of the U.S. population.

While it is not really necessary for a Black organ recipient to have a Black donor, experts believe that it is more possible for the transplant to be successful if they have the same racial background. For instance, people of the same race are most likely to have the same blood type and gene match.

However, Black people are hesitant to register as organ donors compared to Whites. A report by BBC News revealed the possible reason for such reluctance is their "fear that their organs would not be usable due to high blood pressure, heart disease and other prevalent ailments in the black community."

Other studies also show that some African-Americans have grown mistrust in medical professionals, believing that they might not do everything to save their life if they are in the donor registry. After all, medical professionals took an oath to do whatever they can to save a life.

Moreover, there are donor advocates who are on a mission to educate people and debunk myths about organ donation. Many are hoping it could get more people, especially African-Americans, on the donor registry.
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