It is a process where the eyes from the dead person’s body are removed after proper consent and procedure.
Prerequisites for Eye Donation
- Death certificate
- Blood collection from central blood vessel of dead by the eye bank personnel.
- A detailed medical history of the donor before death.
How to go about for eye donation?
- Inform eye bank or your Doctor immediately after the death of the person.
- Keep head end slightly elevated.
- Keep the eyes closed by placing a wet cloth or cotton on closed eyes.
- Removal of eyes within 6 hrs of death is preferable.
- A proper consent has to be signed by the close relative of the dead person who has the rights to body.
- In medico legal cases or police case, eye donation can be done after the police consent.
What is the procedure of eyeball removal in Eye Donation?
- The eyes can be removed only after the death of an individual. Even if the donor has not pledged to donate his or her eyes in the lifetime, the consent of the family members is enough to make an eye donation.
- Eye Donation can be undertaken anywhere, even on streets or at home or in the cementary.
- It takes only few minutes (10-20 minutes) for the whole process per eye.
The eyes can be removed as a whole in Enucleation procedure or Only cornea and part of white part i.e. sclera is excised as in In situ excision and placed in the storage medium and stored in refrigerator until used by the eye bank technician.
- There is a proper closure of empty bony cavity after reforming the shape in enucleation process. In situ excision, a cap colored like an eye is placed on top of partly cut eye so as to give a natural look to the eyes. In situ excision, By placing artificial eye on top makes it appear like normal eyes and does not make it appear to be distorted or removed.
- It should be done within 6 hours of the death (more if body is refrigerated). But Removal as early after death preserves the vitality of the eye components.
Who can donate?
- Everyone can pledge for eye donation during his or her lifetime.
- Even eyes that have undergone surgeries like cataract surgery or LASIK surgery, can be donated and used for the purpose of Corneal Transplantation.
Are all eyes used for corneal transplantation after eye donation?
- Once removal from the body, the eyes are processed in the eye bank for suitability to use for transplantation first. If yes, then the recipients are contacted and given the eyes according to the waiting list of the eye bank. If it is not found suitable for transplantation according to EBAI and EBAA guidelines, they are sent for research purpose.
- The eyes, thus, after removal from the body are mainly used for two purposes – One for transplanting into another person to give vision and second to teach and learn and do research on these eyes so that newer information, technology can be used in living eyes.
- In whole eye removal, white part of the eyeball i.e. Sclera is also used for closure process in the eyes during an operation or following an injury.
What is the Procedure to apply for a donor cornea?
- It is essential to register with the local eye banks under the supervision of your doctor, for getting the donor cornea. There may be waiting period of 1-3 months depending upon the waiting list of eye bank and availability of the donor eyes.
- The eye bank or your doctor will contact you once the donor cornea is available. The confirmation needs to be given to the eye bank within few minutes to an hour of availability of the donor eye.
- Any repeated refusal to accept the donor cornea can make the eye bank remove your name from their waiting list, making second registration compulsory again.
- There is a processing fee for getting a cornea, which can vary from
one eye bank to another. There is no charge for the cornea but the tests carried out to detect the suitability of cornea for use, are charged.
- No HLA or Blood group matching of donor recipient is done except the age matching and quality of donor cornea when available.