(CNS) – More than two-thirds of the 7,800 Los Angeles-area residents on a national organ transplant list are Latino, black or Asian, according to data released today by OneLegacy, the Southland’s organ and tissue recovery agency.
According to the agency, the vast majority of people on the transplant list are in need of a kidney transplant, but only one in 10 will receive one in the next year.
OneLegacy plans to hold four “Explore Transplant” training workshops this month for workers at Southern California’s 319 dialysis centers. The workshops are aimed at giving dialysis workers tools for helping patients and their families make better-informed decisions about living donation.
“A cornerstone of OneLegacy’s mission is to save lives through organ donation, and we understand that living donation is essential to meeting the need for kidney transplants,” said Tom Mone, executive vice president and CEO of OneLegacy. “By introducing the Explore Transplant educational resources in our area, hundreds of dialysis centers in our area will be better able to serve patients’ exploration of transplant as a treatment option.”
According to the agency, the shortage of organs is due to the fact that only three in 1,000 deaths result in an individual being eligible to donate. Only about 600 people could become actual deceased organ donors in the Southland each year, according to OneLegacy.
Living kidney donor transplants in the greater Los Angeles area decreased nearly 20 percent in 2011, with a 45 percent drop among black donors. During 2011, 325 Latinos, 87 black patients and 76 Asians received a kidney transplant in the Los Angeles area.
About 10 percent of white kidney transplant candidates received living donor transplants last year, while the transplant rates among Latino, Asian and black patients ranged from only 2 to 3.5 percent, according to OneLegacy.
The four Explore Transplant trainings, supported by contributions from the Southern California Renal Disease Council and the Donate Life Run/Walk Committee, will be held at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange on Aug. 14, Omni Los Angeles Hotel on Aug. 16, Hyatt Regency Valencia on Aug. 28 and Loma Linda University Medical Center on Aug. 30.