The Plain Dealer | Angela Townsend
Photo: Dr. Daryl Thornton and other researchers found that getting people to watch a short video about organ donation right before getting their driver's license or identification is a persuasive tool to get people to sign up to become an organ donor. This was a heart transplant surgery in August 2011. Credit: Lynn Ischay, Plain Dealer File
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- "My grandpa passed away and he was on the waiting list, and he never got what he needed, so being exposed to all this just makes you realize what one life can do to other people, how much you can help."
A physician at MetroHealth Medical Center hopes those words, spoken by an Asian teenage girl, will help encourage people -- especially young people and members of minority groups -- to register as potential organ donors.
More than 114,000 people are currently on the national wait list for an organ transplant. Minorities make up more than half of those wait-list candidates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Minority Health.
Dr. Daryl Thornton, a member of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland and assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, led a team of researchers who found that getting people to watch a short video about organ donation right before getting their driver's license or identification is a persuasive tool to get people to sign up to become an organ donor.
The results were published in April in the Annals of Internal Medicine.