Social Factors in Organ Donation
•Ali Salim, MD
Social Factors in Organ Donation - Ali Salim, MD
Due to a number of medical advances, transplantation has become a preferred treatment for end stage solid organ failure. The growing demand for organs continues to outpace supply, such that organ shortage is a public health crisis. In 2008, 27,963 transplants were performed from 14,000 donors. Unfortunately, with over 104,000 people awaiting organs, more than 7000 patients die every year before receiving their organs. This discrepancy is most pronounced in minority populations, who comprise over 40% of the entire organ waiting list. Hispanic Americans represent a unique minority in that their population growth outpaces that of all other ethnic groups. Hispanic Americans accounted for nearly half of the national population growth between 2000 and 2004 and it is estimated that they will constitute one-third of the American population by the end of this century. As expected, this population growth parallels a growth in transplant organ need. Over the past decade, the number of Hispanic Americans added to this organ waiting list has increased by over 260% while the list involving non-Hispanics has grown by 146%. Despite this growth, Hispanic Americans are still 60% less likely to donate their organs than non-Hispanic whites.
The primary focus of the study is to develop and implement educational programs in Hispanic communities in Los Angeles in an effort to increase awareness regarding organ donation. This study is a prospective observational study where educational programs focusing on organ donation and transplantation are implemented in high schools, places of worship, and physician clinics in Hispanic American communities in Los Angeles. In addition, paid media campaigns and public service announcements regarding organ donation are distributed, all with the purpose of increasing Hispanic American organ donation.
• Salim A, Schulman D, Ley EJ, Berry C, Navarro S, and Chan LS. Contributing factors for the willingness to donate organs in the Hispanic American population. Arch Surg. 2010; 145(7):684-689. PMCID: PMC2920377
• Salim A, Berry C, Ley EJ, Schulman D, Desai C, Navarro S, and Malinoski D. The impact of race on organ donation rates in Southern California. J Am Coll Surg. 2010; 211(5): 596-600.
• Salim A, Berry C, Ley EJ, Schulman D, Desai C, Navarro S, and Malinoski D. In-house Coordinator Program Improve Conversion Rates for Organ Donation. J Trauma. 2010 (in press).
• Salim A, Malinioski D, Schulman D, Desai C, Navarro S, and Ley EJ. The combination of an online organ and tissue registry with a public education campaign can increase the number of organs available for transplantation. J Trauma 2010;69(2):451-454. PMCID:PMC2927713