REPORT: New York State Lags Nation in Organ Donor Registrations
July 29th, 2014 by Nancy Ryan
Only California and Texas have more residents than New York state has on the transplant waiting list. Approximately 1,500 New Yorkers have been on the waiting list for five years or longer.
New York state adults register themselves as organ and tissue donors at less than half the rate of adults nationwide, but the need for lifesaving organs in New York state is among the highest in the country, according to a report issued today by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
While less than half of American adults (48 percent) are registered organ and tissue donors, only 22 percent of New York state adults are on the registry. Upstate New York’s percentage of registered donors (31 percent) is higher than the state number.
“When I first saw the analysis, I thought this can’t be right,” said Martin Lustick, MD, senior vice president and corporate medical director, Excellus BCBS. “Then I realized that the numbers are less about New Yorkers being less inclined to donate organs, and more about the barriers that exist to becoming an organ donor in our state.”
“Individuals on the organ transplant waiting list are our family members, friends and neighbors, and it takes just a few minutes to sign up to give the Gift of Life,” said Rob Kochik, executive director, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.
He encourages everyone to have a conversation with family members and enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.
DOWNLOAD: The complete Excellus BlueCross BlueShield analysis (online) or The Facts About Organ Donor Registration in Upstate New York (PDF)
Tags: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, Gift of Life, New York, organ donation, organ donor registry, registered organ donors, Rob Kochik, transplant, transplant waiting list, transplantation, Upstate New York