EYE DONATION – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AND DO!!
Who can be an eye donor?
Anyone can be a donor irrespective of age, sex, blood group, religion, caste or creed.
Do religious authorities approve of donating ones eyes?
Yes. All religious faiths support this vital sight restoration program.
Is the whole eye used for transplant?
No. Only the thin transparent layer in front of the iris, called the cornea is used for transplant.
Do cataracts or the use of spectacles render the corneas unfit?
No. Both these conditions relate to the lens of the eye and not the cornea.
Does eye donation disfigure the donor’s face?
No. The removal of eyes does not produce disfigurement nor does it interfere with the customary funeral arrangement.
Does the human body reject the transplanted donor`s cornea?
Corneas do not have any direct blood supply so the risk of rejection is very low. Rejection, if they occur, can be suppressed by timely medication.
What condition render the cornea unfit for donation?
Cornea of persons suffering from AIDS, jaundice, rabies, tetanus, septicemia, and viral diseases are considered unfit for donation.
How does the age factor of donor affect the utility rate for corneas?
With advancing age the utility rate goes down rapidly and especially for age group in +80 it is less than 5 percent and are seldom useful to give sight to blind.Its use will be restricted for teaching/training purposes only.
What about diabetes or hypertension?
Even donor with these condition can donate their eyes.
How will my donation be used?
After the eyes are removed, they will be evaluated, processed, preserved and then supplied to the eye surgeon for transplant.
Is there any use for corneas which are for some reason unfit for transplant?
Corneas which are not used for vision restoring for technical reasons, are invaluable for research and training.
Do corneal transplants guarantee sight to all blind people?
No. Transplants only help when the loss of sight is solely due to corneal condition and the rest of the eye’s mechanism is intact.
How quickly should eyes be removed after death?
As soon as possible, but eyes can be removed up to 6 hours after death. However, in places where the climate is hot, such as India, a shorter duration, preferably 2-4 hours is advisable.
Is it necessary to transport the donor to the hospital after death?
No. Eye banks have personnel who will come to the donor’s home and harvest the eyes. The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes.
What is an eye bank?
An eye bank is the link between the donor and recipient/eye surgeon. It is an organization recognized by government to collect and distribute human eyes to those who require cornea transplants.
How to donate eyes: For the donor’s relative
1. You have the authority and moral responsibility to donate the eyes of the deceased
2. Call Help line 1919 or Eye bank nos 24164342, 24162929 as earliest as possible
3. Get the vital death certificate and two Xerox copies of it ready.
4. Contact your nearest eye bank as soon as possible.
5. Keep two pillows under the head of the deceased person, close the eye lids. Cover the closed lids with moist cotton / cloth piece.
6. Switch off the fan (Switch on the air conditioner if possible.)