In India, we have an estimated 4.6 million people with corneal blindness that is curable through corneal transplantation made possible by eye donation.
The cornea is the clear surface at the front of the eye and is the main focusing element. When the cornea becomes cloudy from disease, injury, infection or any other cause, vision will be drastically reduced. 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. More than 90% of the corneal transplantation is carried out successfully and helps restore vision in people with corneal blindness. Corneal transplantation in infants born with cloudy cornea can make a big difference to their lives.
Eye donors could be of any age group or sex. People who use spectacles, diabetics, patients with high blood pressure, asthma patients and those without communicable diseases can donate eyes.
Persons with AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Rabies, Septicaemia, Acute leukemia (Blood cancer), Tetanus, Cholera, and infectious diseases like Meningitis and Encephalitis cannot donate eyes.
The surgical removal of the eye tissue is performed soon after 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. Because the removal causes no disfiguration, an open casket is still an option for the donor family.
Cornea transplant is usually performed within 4 days after donation, depending upon the method of cornea preservation.
No. It is illegal to buy and sell human eyes, organs and tissues. Any cost associated with eye procurement are absorbed by the eye bank.
The most important action a person can take is to tell his/her family and legal representative. Most states now require that families be offered the option of donation when a loved one dies. Families may give consent for donation. It is most helpful if they know in advance that s/he would like to donate his/her eyes. A donor card can serve as an indication to the family / legal representative and hospitals of one's intention to be an eye donor.
To donate eyes, the following procedures should be done by the relatives of the deceased
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