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BAME organ donors encouraged to come forward after pandemic shortfall

People from BAME groups should consider organ donation, according to Dr. Jason Seewoodhary. Credit: PA

Following a shortage during the pandemic, organ donors from black, Asian, and minority ethnic origins are being sought.

During the coronavirus, the number of surviving organ donors from BAME origins fell by 61%, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.

Many patients were “suspended” from the waiting list as a result of this.

Dr. Jason Seewoodhary, a GP at Worcester's Barbourne Medical Centre, has urged persons of color to consider becoming organ donors.

“I would encourage all members of the BAME community to consider the great benefits of registering as a living organ donor,” he said.

“You will save not just a life, but also the lives of a family, a friend, and a community. It's probably the best present you could give.”

He went on to say that blood and tissue types must match for organ transplants to be effective, which is most common when the donor and recipient are of the same ethnic background.

“Currently, BAME patients wait longer for essential organ transplants than White patients – in 2018, Asian patients waited nearly three years for a lung transplant, while White patients waited roughly nine months,” he stated. Furthermore, Black and Asian patients waited six months longer for a kidney transplant than White patients.”

According to NHSBT, there were 1,237 people from BAME groups on the waiting list as of March 31. This translates to 29.5 percent of all persons on the transplant waiting list.

“BAME populations have lower consent rates and opt-in registrations to the organ donor registry,” Dr Seewoodhary noted.

“A poll conducted in the United Kingdom looked into the reasons for this. This study looked examined views regarding organ donation among BAME communities and discovered that only 1% of BAME people were registered as organ donors, 42% were unwilling to become donors, 29% were willing or previously registered, and 28% were unsure.

“51% of those who refused to donate claimed it was because it was incompatible with their faith, while 19% said it was because it was incompatible with their culture.”


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