Monday, August 5, 2013

It's National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Week

Here's the relevant U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: National Minority Donor Awareness Week, August 1-7

"Observed annually, National Minority Donor Awareness Week was created to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors, especially among minorities. Now in its 17th year, this special observance honors minorities who have been donors, and encourages others to register as donors and take better care of their health in order to reduce the number needing a transplant."

A related story: Minority Organ Donors in Dire Need in Illinois
""The essence of organ and tissue donations in the African-American and Hispanic communities is critical," said Jackie Lynch, Director of Community Affairs for Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network.
Gift of Hope is an agency that helps people in need of organ and tissue transplants. More than half of the state's waiting list are minorities, but they are the fewest registered donors, according to Lynch. He says 18 percent of the state’s population is African-American, but the demographic makes up 54 percent of people in need of organ donor transplants.
"There are so few African-American donors, yet so many waiting. They wait longer and in many cases they die waiting."

Here's a recent paper on consent rates: Crit Care Med. 2013 Feb;41(2):496-505.
Deceased organ donation consent rates among racial and ethnic minorities and older potential donors.
Goldberg DS, Halpern SD, Reese PP.
We used data provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to analyze the 35,823 organ procurement organization-reported eligible deaths (potential brain-dead donors ≤ 70 yr of age) from January 1, 2008, to October 31, 2011.
Excluding cases where donation authorization was based on prior patient documentation (e.g., donor registry), consent was obtained on 21,601 (68.9%), not obtained on 8,727 (27.8%), and not requested on 1,080 (3.4%) eligible deaths. There were substantial differences in consent rates among racial/ethnic groups (77.0% in whites, 67.5% in Hispanics, 54.9% in blacks, and 48.1% in Asians) and organ procurement organizations (median [interquartile range]: 72.4% [67.5-87.3]). In generalized estimating equation models, with whites and patients ages 18-39 yr as the respective reference groups, consent for donation was less likely to be obtained among Hispanics (odds ratio 0.54; 95% confidence interval 0.44-0.65), blacks (odds ratio 0.35; 95% confidence interval 0.31-0.39), Asians (odds ratio 0.31; 95% confidence interval 0.25-0.37), and eligible donors ages 55-64 (odds ratio 0.72; 95% confidence interval 0.67-0.77), and ≥ 65 yr (odds ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval 0.52-0.64).
In presenting the first published analyses of consent rates among all eligible deaths, this study confirms smaller and regional studies that showed significant differences in consent rates between whites and racial/ethnic minorities (blacks, Hispanics, and Asians). The study also identifies considerable variation in consent rates between age groups and between organ procurement organizations. Critical care physicians are usually the front-line providers for potential brain-dead donors and their next-of-kin, and these data highlight the need for further research to identify the causes of variation in consent rates and mechanisms to increase rates where appropriate."

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