FAQ : About Eye Donation
Eye Donation Movement in India has been in existence for the last 40 years, but unfortunately even today the demand far exceeds the number of donated corneas. In India there are approximately 1.2 crore blind people and corneal opacity causes about 25%of blindness. Corneal Transplant can relieve this kind of blindness. In Orissa the eye donation movement has just begun.
1. Discuss your intention of eye donation with your family doctors, friends and relatives.
2. Enrollment is convenient but not compulsory. Instead your wish to donate your eyes conveyed to your to family members will make
them fulfill this after your death.
3. Contact "drushti daan" for further details.
For the Donors relatives:-
You have the authority and moral responsibility to donate the eyes of the deceased, especially if the donor expressed his desire during his/her lifetime.
What is an eye bank ?
An eye bank is the link between the donor and recipients/eye surgeon . It is an organization recognized by the government to collect and distribute human eyes to those who require Cornea transplants.
Who can be an eye donor ?
Any one can be a donor irrespective of the age, sex, blood group, caste, creed or religion.
How can I become a donor ?
The most important action you can take to ensure you will be a donor is to tell your family and legal representative. It is helpful if they know how you feel in advance. Keep a donor card with you at all times so it will serve as an indication to your family, your legal representative and hospitals of your intention to be an eye donor.
Do cataracts or the use of spectacles render the Corneas unfit?
No. Both these conditions relate to the lens of the eyes and not the Cornea.
What about Diabetes or hypertension ?
Even donors with these conditions can donate their eyes.
Is the whole eye used for transplant ?
No. Only the thin transparent layer in front of the iris (black portion) called the Cornea is used for transplant.
Is there any use for the Corneas which are for some reason unfit for transplant ?
Corneas that, for the technical reasons, are not used for vision restoring corneal transplant, are invaluable for research.
Does corneal transplant guarantee sight to all blind people ?
No.Transplant only helps when the loss of the sight is due to corneal defect.
Does the human body reject the transplant donor's cornea ?
Corneas do not have direct blood supply so the risk of rejection is very low. Rejection, if any occurs, can be suppressed by timely medication.
How will my donation be used ?
After the eyes are removed they will be evaluated, processed, screened and then supplied to the eye surgeon for transplant.
What conditions render cornea unfit for donation ?
Cornea of persons suffering from AIDS, tetanus, rabies, hepatitis, septicemia and viral diseases are considered unfit for donation.
How quickly should eyes be removed after death ?
The eyes should be removed from the donor and sent to the processing center as soon as possible to avoid deterioration of the cornea. The ideal time frame is 3-4 hours from the 'time of death to the cornea preservation centre'.
How soon after donation must a cornea be transplanted ?
Cornea transplant is usually performed within 4 days after donation.
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 arrangements.
Is it necessary to transport the donor to the hospital after death for the donation ?
No. Eye bank/ Cornea Collection Centre have personnel who come to the donor's home to remove the eyes. The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes.
Are there religious conflicts to eye donation ?
No. Donation is a gift of sight to others. As such, eye donations are consistent with the beliefs and attitudes of major religions.
Will the relatives get to know the recipient of the eyes ?
No. The identity of both the recipient and the donor is kept a secret
IMPORTANT STEPS BEFORE EYE DONATION
1. Get the valid death certificate quickly.
2. Contact the eye bank as soon as possible.
3. Close the eyelids and cover it with moist cotton.
4. Switch off the fan (Switch on the air conditioner if possible).
5. Raise the donor's head by 6 inches by placing two pillows under it.
6. Keep the consent of all the family members of the deceased donor ready, as it is mandatory.