ROCHESTER, Minn. — April is National Donate Life Month, held to encourage organ and tissue donation and to celebrate donors who give a new life to others. Organ donors are always in short supply. In the United States, more than 118,000 people are waiting for organ transplants, and 19 percent are Hispanic. Experts say that there is a need for organ donation in the Hispanic community because a transplant recipient is more likely to find a match among donors with the same ethnicity.
VIDEO ALERT: English-language and Spanish-language video of Dr. Prieto is available on the Mayo Clinic News Network.
"It is always possible to find matches across ethnicities, but all ethnic groups benefit when we increase the number of donors from the same ethnic background," says Mikel Prieto, M.D., surgical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant programs at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "For example, certain blood types are more prevalent in ethnic minority populations. Because matching blood type is important for organ transplants, using minority donor organs is beneficial."
The information below about organ transplant in the Hispanic community is provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network:
Mayo Clinic experts believe that the following cultural misconceptions can be a reason why some people fear becoming an organ and tissue donor:
Read more information on the Mayo Clinic Transplant Center.
Dr. Prieto is available to speak to reporters about organ transplantation in the Hispanic community. To arrange an interview, please contact Soledad Andrade at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.