Organ donation and ethnicity

Why does ethnicity matter in organ donation?

For many patients in need of a transplant the best match will come from a donor from the same ethnic background.

Kidney donors and recipients are matched by blood group and tissue type, and people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have matching blood groups and tissue types.

For other organs there is a need to match blood groups, but less or no requirement to match tissue types.

Did you know?

Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients often have to wait significantly longer for a successful match than white patients, due to a shortage of suitably matched donors. 

If more people with these ethnic backgrounds donated their organs after death, or as a living donor, then transplant waiting times would reduce.

Be the difference

If you are black, Asian or belong to a minority ethnic group, your decision to become an organ donor could increase the likelihood of someone from the same ethnic background finding a suitable match. You could even save someone's life. 

We need donors from all communities, but a shortage of donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups means that members of these groups may wait longer for a transplant.

Your decision matters

If you are black, Asian or belong to a minority ethnic group, then sharing your decision is also an opportunity to increase awareness about the need for organ donors from your ethnic background.

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