Asian patients wait longer for organ donations at BC hospitals
Surrey resident Karen Rai had been on the waiting list for a kidney for nearly a decade when, a year ago, one of her doctors told her the bad news: she would probably never get one.
Rai, who had grown weak from enduring dialysis four times a day, was shocked and saddened by the news.
But even more shocking was the reason her doctor, St. Paul’s Jagbir Gill, gave her: There simply weren’t enough organs in B.C. from donors who, like her, were South Asian.
“I was really upset,” said Rai, 64, whose kidneys began failing due to polycystic kidney disease. “Why are people not donating their organs, when they can help so many people? It was heartbreaking.”
The key requirement for a successful organ transplant is simply that both the donor and recipient share the same blood type.
But blood types are not equally distributed among all ethnic groups.
Chad Skelton Reports