The importance of eye donation is well-known and well-accepted and needs no separate mention. However, listing out the importance makes it more relevant to us and enable us to be a part of this wonderful venture to gift a blind person so that they can enjoy the colourful glory of the world.
Which part of the eye is taken:
The cornea of the eye is a clear and transparent layer that lies in front of the iris or the “black ball” of the eye.
Who can donate eyes:
- Anyone starting from the age of One year
- A person who may be blind due to retinal problem or optic nerve disease, but has a clear cornea
Who cannot donate eyes:
- A person with opaque cornea which happens due to infection, injuries or congenital conditions
- A person who dies because of infections such as rabies, syphilis, infectious hepatitis, etc.
- Eyes cannot be recovered from a living person
How can you help:
- Pledge your eyes and also encourage family and friends to do so.
- One can become the member of an eye donation center and offer the required services
- Contacting the nearest eye bank immediately after a death in the family
- Monetary support to the eye bank or to the patient
Important things to remember when you want to donate:
- Contact the nearest eye bank immediately after death of the person who has pledged his eye
- Switch of the fan to prevent drying of eyes
- Keep the head of the deceased a little raised, with a pillow underneath. This helps prevent bleeding at the time of removal.
- Keep the eyes of the deceased closed and place a moist piece of cotton
- Guide the eye bank representatives to reach their destination quickly
- Keep death certificate ready
- Consent of next of kin and presence of witness is important, keep them ready
Procedure of eye donation:
- Eyes can be donated only after the death of the person who has pledged his eyes
- Eyes must be recovered within 4-6 hours after the death
- Eyes must be removed or recovered only by the registered medical practitioner
- Once the eye bank team is informed, they will send the qualified person to recover the eyes
- A small quantity of blood will be taken from the deceased to check and rule out infections and communicable diseases
- The procedure of recovering the eye takes about 20-30 minutes
- Eye removal or recovery does not disfigure the face
- Identities of the recipient and the donor will be kept confidential
After eye donation procedure:
- The family of the donor receives a certificate of appreciation from the eye bank
- Once the eyes reach the eye bank, the trained staff evaluates them
- Then they are sent to the Eye surgeon, who specializes in corneal surgery
- The waiting list is checked to choose the recipient, who is called for the corneal transplant
- Surgery is done and cornea is transplanted
- The recipient comes for follow-up to check the success of the transplant