The Transplant Gap with Keith Melancon, MD
"The problem is for African-Americans, we make up 13% of the population, but we make up about 35% of the people that need transplants."
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services state that there are over 101,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant. Minorities account for 58 percent of those on the list, they represent just 42 percent of those who receive transplants. Dr. J. Keith Melancon, Chief of the Transplant Institute at George Washington University Hospital discusses the transplant gap.
According to Dr. Melancon, "The problem is for African-Americans, we make up 13% of the population, but we make up about 35% of the people that need transplants. You match up best with people from your own ethnic group, so the disparity comes from yes, we are donating, but we're not donating enough to meet that need. So, what happens is people that are African-American tend to wait a lot longer for a transplant."
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Produced by: National Newsmakers Team