Eye Donation


This article is to make you help make a personal decision on eye donation, based on facts—not fears!!  

 

Facts about Eye Donation in India:

  • There are 12 million+ blind people in India, out of which about 4 million+ are corneal blind.
  • Eye collection figures stand at around 20000+ eyes per year, creating a huge back log.There is poor awareness of eye donation (large gap between pledge and actual donation)  

 

What is Eye Donation and how is this helpful?

  • Eye donation means that you can pledge for your eyes to be donated after death. The front mirror portion of eye called cornea is removed and transplanted on a living person’s eye.
  • Donation of a pair of eyes gives sight to two corneal blind persons
  • Eye Donation vs Other organ Donation

    • There are 12 million+ blind people in India, out of which about 4 million+ are corneal blind.
    • Eye collection figures stand at around 20000+ eyes per year, creating a huge back log.There is poor awareness of eye donation (large gap between pledge and actual donation)  

    Eligible Recipient Candidate

  • The recipient should have only corneal Blindness only, Rest eye should be normal
  • Can treat other eye problems

 

Who all can donate their eyes?

  • Age does not matter while making this precious donation.
  • Person suffering from Diabetics, Hypertension, Systemic disorders like Asthma and Tuberculosis CAN ALSO donate their eyes.
  • Cataract surgery patient can also be a happy donor.

 

Who all CANNOT donate their eyes?

  • Eyes will not be collected if death has occurred due to the following diseases.
  • AIDS / Hepatitis B
  • Septicemia / Sepsis
  • Leukemia/ Hodgkins Lymphoma/ Cancer with Metastasis to Head and Neck: Encephalitis
  • Rabies  

 

What happens when a person dies and relatives want to donate his eyes?
You have to make a call to eye bank within six hours of demise.It is a difficult time but by making a call you are doing a very noble deed.Local Eye Bank number-In Delhi:1919  

 

What should be done at the site of death?

  • Switch off fans/keep air conditioner or cooler running
  • Place wet cotton with ice over the closed eyelids/ Raise head with a pillow.
 

 

What is done by the eye bank people?

  • The eyes are removed by a trained person using sterile procedure.
  • It leaves no scar disfigurement of the face.
  • 10 cc of blood sample is collected from the donor for testing.
  • The procedures are done free

On reaching the Eye Bank, tissues are examined, processed and used for corneal transplant operation as early as possible.  

 

How is a blind person able to see after corneal transplant?
Once the cornea reaches hospital, it undergoes few tests to assess corneal quality and to decide how best can it be used. The recipient has opaque cornea which does not allow light to enter his eye. Penetrating keratoplasty is the surgery by which the opaque diseased cornea is replaced by clear donor cornea. The corneal button is sutured on to the recipient eye followed by a postoperative phase of eye care. Once the healing is complete, the clear cornea becomes a part of the eye enabling the person to see.  

 

Can I become a donor?

Yes, absolutely. Infact there is no better time to act then now.

  • Document your decision to donate.
  • Inform family members of your wishes (they are the one who will execute your wish when the time comes).

 

Few Facts...

  • Eyes can be pledged during one's lifetime but can be donated only after death. Even visually disabled persons can pledge their eyes provided disability is due to other factors but cornea is in good condition.
  • All religions endorse the practice of eye donation.
  • Persons of any Age/Sex can donate their eyes
  • Persons who have undergone surgery for Cataract, Glaucoma or using Spectacles can also pledge and donate their eyes.
  • Eyes should be donated preferably within SIX hours after the death.
  • Nobody is charged for making eye donation. The only cost to encounter is one local telephone call.
  • Immediate family members or relatives can donate the eyes of the deceased even if the deceased had not pledged for eye donation during his/her life time.
 

 

Few Myths… which are completely baseless!!

  • Some people think that if theay donate their eyes, it will leave holes in the place where their eyes existed.
  • Some other people are of the opinion that if they donate their eyes in this life, they shall be born blind in the next life
  • Some people hesitate to pledge their eyes for donation worrying about their religious beliefs

 

Your effort can enable someone to come out of their dark and dreary life into a life full of colors, a life where they can see and enjoy this beautiful world!