What is an Eye Donation?
Donating eyes after the death of a person is called eye donation.
What is cornea?
The cornea is the clear surface at the front of the eye and is the main focusing element. Should the cornea become cloudy from disease, injury, infection or any other cause, vision will be drastically reduced.
What is a cornea transplant?
The cornea transplant is the surgical procedure, which replaces a disc-shaped segment of an impaired cornea with a similarly shaped piece of a healthy donor cornea.
How prevalent is cornea transplantation?
Cornea transplants are the most frequently performed human transplant procedure. In fact, there are more cornea transplants than all other organ transplants combined. In the last 30 years, hundreds of thousands cornea transplants have been performed, restoring sight to men, women, and children ranging in age from nine days to 103 years.
How soon after donation must a cornea be transplanted?
Cornea transplant is usually performed within 4 days after donation, depending upon the method of cornea preservation.
What is an eye bank?
The eye bank is a nonprofit organization that obtains, medically evaluates and distributes eyes, which are donated by compassionate citizens for use in cornea, transplants, sclera reconstructions, research and education. To ensure patient safety, the donated eyes and the donor's medical history are evaluated by the eminent eye bank staff in accordance to strict medical standards.
So is bharateyebank.org an eye bank in the true sense of the word?
No. We are just a non-profit organization, who has built a platform to further the cause of eye donations. Being a part of one the largest Internet companies in the country, we are trying to make use of our goodwill to help the cause of eye donations. We do not medically evaluate or distribute eyes for any purpose. We just facilitate a process for willing donors to reach the closest eye bank.
Who can be an eye donor?
Anyone. Cataracts, poor eyesight and age do not prevent someone from becoming a donor. Prospective donors should indicate their intention on donor cards. Perhaps the most important single thing you can do is make your immediate near & dear ones aware of your wishes to make sure they are carried out.
Why should eyes be donated?
Donated human eyes and corneal tissue are necessary for the preservation and restoration of sight and are used for transplantation, research and education. Over 90 percent of all cornea transplant operations performed each year successfully restores vision to people suffering from corneal blindness.
How can I become a donor?
First and foremost, you need to ensure that your family and near and dear ones know about your intent to donate your eyes. Families may give consent for donation. It is most helpful if they know how you feel in advance. A donor card can serve as an indication to your family and the hospitals of your intention to be an eye donor. Click here to pledge your eyes!
Will eye donation affect the appearance of the donor?
No. Great care is taken to preserve the appearance of the donor. No one will be able to see that anything has been done.
Will the donor's family pay or receive any fees?
No. It is illegal to buy and sell human eyes, organs and tissues. Any costs associated with eye procurement are absorbed by the eye bank.
Is there any delay in funeral arrangements?
No. Eye tissue is procured within hours of death, so families may proceed as planned with funeral arrangements.
What are the benefits to the eye donor family?
In addition to fulfilling your loved one's wishes, eye donation can offer comfort to a grieving family. Just knowing a small part of our loved one is going to give life to someone by helping him or her see in this world is consolation. Something to hold on to in time of sorrow.
When does the donation take place?
The surgical removal of the eye tissue is performed soon after the time of death, ensuring the tissue is in the best possible condition for transplant. This also makes sure that the funeral arrangements are not delayed in any way.
Can the next of kin give consent to a donation if the deceased person has not signed an eye donation form?
Yes, the relatives of the deceased can decide on the eye donation of their beloved one.
Can a person who is blind due to retinal or optic nerve disease donate his eyes?
Yes, provided the cornea of the donor is clear.
Can a living person donate his eyes?
No, donation from living persons is not accepted.
Will the recipient be informed of the donor's details?
No, the gift of sight is made anonymously.
Are there any dedicated telephone numbers for calling the Eye Bank for eye donation?
Yes. You can call 1919 across the country to contact any of the eye banks. You could also log on to www.ebai.org for more information. Eye Banks usually works 24 hours a day and 365 days in a year.
How is the donor suitability determined?
If potential donors are carefully screened for medical suitability and high risk factors. HIV, Hepatitis B and syphilis tests are run before any tissue is released for surgery. Should any tissue be deemed unsuitable for transplant, the information is then scrutinized for the possibility of use of research. Every eye bank's primary concern is for the safety of the potential recipients, eye bank staff and researchers.
Will the quality of medical care be affected if one is known to be a donor?
Absolutely not. Strict laws protect the potential donor. Legal guidelines must be followed before death can be certified. A Physician certifying a patient's death cannot be in any way involved with eye procurement or with the transplant.
What happens after eye donation?
The donor's family receives a certificate of appreciation from the eye bank. The eyes are taken to the eye bank and evaluated by a trained eye bank staff
Tests are carried out and the tissue is sent to the corneal surgeon
The waiting list is referred and the recipient is called for corneal transplant
Corneal transplant is performed
Periodic follow-up of the recipient is done over time to ensure that the graft is successful
How does a cornea become opaque?
Iatrogenic (Malpractice, Improper Post-op. care after any eye surgery)
Can the whole eye be transplanted?
No. Only the cornea and the sclera (white part of the eye) can be transplanted. The whole eye can be used for valuable research into eye diseases and treatments and education.
How do research and education benefit from eye donation?
In addition to corneas used for surgical procedures, more than 35,000 eyes are used annually for research and education. Research into glaucoma, retinal disease, complications of diabetes and other sight disorders benefit from donations because many eye problems cannot be simulated - only human eyes can be used. These studies advance the discovery of the causes and effects of specific eye conditions and lead to new treatments and cures.
Are there religious conflicts to eye, organ or tissue donation?
No. Donation is a gift of sight or sight to others. As such, eye, organ and tissue donations are consistent with the beliefs and attitudes of major religions.
What are the functions of an eye bank?
Availability of trained staff round the clock to attend the calls
Evaluate and provide quality corneas to corneal surgeons
Enable corneal research using eyes unsuitable for grafts
Find newer techniques, improve preservation methods and train corneal surgeons
Increase public awareness about eye donation and eye banking
Train doctors in eye removal procedures
Develop and establish a network of eye donation centers