How organ rejection and failure impact communities of color

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 16:58:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Although it can be easy to check a box or go online to become an organ donor, the process of organ transplant is difficult and dangerous for recipients.

National transplant list data shows many organs fail within five years post-transplant.

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month.

Anna Czene with CareDx, Inc. says it's important to know that in multicultural communities, individuals are three times more likely to experience organ failures, specifically for heart and kidney.

"It's really important for minorities to check that box, on your DMV and sign up to be an organ donor, but also to have those important conversations. So if the time should arise, as a family, you're prepared to make that tough decision," Czene said.

Once a patient receives an organ donation, potential risks remain.

"One of the biggest risks is organ failure of that transplanted organ," Czene said. "Research shows that one in two lung transplant patients, one in three heart transplant patients, and one and five kidney transplant patients can expect for that transplanted organ to fail five years post transplant."

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