Hispanics Account for 50 Percent of New Mexico’s Transplant Waiting List New Mexicans Encouraged to Dispel Myths and Register to Save Lives

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September 30, 2014 – Albuquerque, NM – National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to bring awareness to the tremendous need for organ donations in the Hispanic community, and encourage more people to register as organ donors. Hispanics make up approximately 17 percent of the population in the United States and account for 19 percent of the organ transplant list. However, in New Mexico, Hispanics make up 42 percent of the population, and disproportionally account for 50 percent of the organ transplant waiting list.

The increased need for transplants in the Hispanic community is due to higher rates of diabetes, hypertension and liver disease which cause organ failure. Sadly, an average of 18 people die every day in the U.S. because the transplant they so critically need does not come in time “Myths regarding organ donation continue to be major barriers preventing many Hispanics from becoming registered donors. Every New Mexican can make a life-saving difference by registering to be a donor” said Wayne Dunlap, Executive Director of New Mexico Donor Services, the organ donor agency serving New Mexico. New Mexicans are encouraged to learn more about the life-saving and healing benefits of donation and to register as donors on their New Mexico driver’s license or ID card, or online at NMdonor.org

Dispelling Donation Myths
*Registering as a donor will not interfere with life-saving medical care.
*Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history. A single donor can save or heal the lives of more than 50 people.
*Every major religion in the United States supports donation as one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity.
*There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation.
*An open casket funeral is possible after donation.

Statistics

*More than 23,000 Hispanics are listed for a transplant on the national waiting list, which has over 123,000 patients.
*Nearly 4,000 Hispanics were saved through organ donations last year.
*In New Mexico, Hispanics account for 50 percent of the 757 New Mexicans on the national organ transplant list.
*Hispanics are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end stage renal disease and diabetes.
*Matching organs between members of the same ethnic background increases the success rate of transplantation.

The need for more donors is clear. Registering your decision to become a donor and informing your family is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donation. To learn more and to register as a donor please visit NMdonor.org or call 505-843-7672.