Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and a national day of service.
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- Over 22,000 Latinos/Hispanics are waiting for an organ transplant.
- African-Americans make up almost 30 percent of the national transplant waiting list.
- African-Americans make up 21.4 percent of North Carolina’s overall population, but represent nearly 50 percent of North Carolinians waiting for an organ transplant.
- Of the more than 1,710 African-Americans waiting for transplants in North Carolina, 95 percent are waiting for a kidney transplant.
- 18.5 percent of all patients awaiting organ transplants in the United States are of Latino heritage.
- The majority of Latino patients are waiting for kidney transplants. Here in North Carolina, 86 percent of Latinos waiting need a kidney transplant.
- Diabetes, a leading cause of kidney failure in the US, is estimated to be four to six times more common in Latinos/ Hispanic-Americans.
- African-Americans are four times more likely than Caucasians to be on dialysis because of kidney failure, which must often be treated by kidney transplantation.
- Race is not a barrier to being a donor, nor is it a criterion for organ matching. A computer database matches organ donors with potential recipients according to medical suitability. However, patients waiting for kidney transplants are more likely to have an antigen match with a donor of the same race. Therefore, African-Americans will “match” better with a kidney donated from an African-American than any other race — as will Asians with Asians, etc.
Facts and statistics provided by Donate Life North Carolina.