In honor of Donate Life Month, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare is educating the public about organ donation. Currently more than 123,000 men, women and children are awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Every 10 minutes a new person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list, and, on average, 21 people pass away each day waiting for an organ transplant. In El Paso County 47 percent of residents are registered donors—a 13 percent increase from 2014.
Since 2009, the Kidney Transplant Clinic at Las Palmas Medical Center, the only transplant center in the El Paso region, has successfully treated more than 70 kidney transplant patients.
Here are a few facts about organ donation:
- Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history.
- Individuals considered for living donation are usually between 21 and 65 years of age.
- Kidneys are the most common organs donated by living donors.
- There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
- When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information, not your financial or celebrity status.
- The need for transplants in some racial or ethnic groups is disproportionately high, frequently due to conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can lead to the need for a kidney transplant. For example, African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage kidney failure.
- Although organs are not matched according to race or ethnicity and people of different races often match one another, all individuals waiting for an organ transplant have better chances of receiving an organ if there are large numbers of donors from their same racial or ethnic background—this is because compatible blood types and tissue markers (critical qualities for matching) are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity.
- Currently, 22,000 Hispanics/Latinos are waiting for an organ transplant.
One donor can save up to eight lives. If you are considering becoming an organ donor, you are encouraged to register and to discuss your wishes with your family.
For more information about organ donation, contact the Kidney Transplant Clinic at (915) 521-1828 or visit Southwest Transplant Alliance. You can also contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles about registering as an organ donor.