EYES NEED TO BE REMOVED WITHIN SIX HOURS AFTER DEATH
SO IT IS IMPORTANT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NEAREST EYE BANK AT THE EARLIEST
FACTS ABOUT EYE DONATION
- 37 million people are blind / the prevalence of blindness is 4 per 1000 population
- Out of these, 6.8 million of the blind suffer from corneal blindness.
- Every third blind person is an Indian
- Every 5 seconds one person goes blind
- A child becomes blind every minute in the world
- An estimated 1-2 million persons go blind every year
- Yearly one lakh Indians become blind due to corneal problems
- 75% blindness is treatable
- By 2020 - there will be 10.6 million blind.
FAQS ABOUT EYE DONATION
Who can be eye donors?
Anyone from the age of one. There is no age-limit for donating the eye.
Who cannot be a donor?
- Death from unknown cause.
- Death due to infections such as Rabies, Syphilis, Infectious hepatitis, Septicaemia & AIDS.
- Any frank ocular infection and previous refractive surgery.
Can a living person donate his/her eyes?
What needs to be done to become an eye donor?
All one needs to do is to take a simple pledge to donate the eyes after death.
Is there anything else I need to do?
While taking a pledge during ones lifetime itself is a noble deed, it requires the support of the relatives or friends to carry out the wishes of eye donation of the deceased. So please ensure that your family and friends know about your desire.
I am diabetic and have hypertension, can I donate?
Even those diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension can donate their eyes without any hesitation.
I wear spectacles, so what is the use of donating?
People who wear spectacles can most certainly donate their eyes without bothering about power issues.
I have undergone cataract surgery, so how can I donate my eyes?
Even those who have undergone cataract surgery can donate their eyes without doubt.
I have eye problems and am blind myself with retinal or optic nerve disease, so how can I give vision?
Ironically even people blind due to retinal or optic nerve disease can donate their eyes. The ultimate decision about usage for transplantation will be made after evaluation by experts. So nobody should come to any preconceived notion about their eligibility to donate their eyes.
Can the next of kin consent to a donation if the deceased person has not signed an eye donation form?
Yes, the relatives of the deceased can decide on donating the eyes of their beloved one.
How can I be of help on the death of a close relative or friend?
Motivate the next of kin of the deceased person to donate their eyes. Eyes need to be collected within 6 hours of death so call your nearest eye bank at the earliest. You are authorized to donate the eyes of your beloved relatives at the time of their death, even if a pledge for donation has not been made earlier by the deceased.
What can we expect after the call to the eye-bank?
- A team is dispatched within 15 minutes from the eye-bank.
- At the site, the eyes of the deceased are enucleated without causing any disfigurement. This procedure takes about 10-15 minutes.
What should I do till the Eye Donation team arrives?
- Keep the eyes of the deceased closed and cover it with moist cotton.
- Switch off the overhead fan.
- Raise the head end of the body by about 6 inches, if possible - to decrease the incidence of bleeding during the removal of the eyes.
- If possible, instil antibiotic eye drops periodically.
Can the whole eye be transplanted?
No. Only the cornea and sclera can be transplanted. However, the entire eyeball is enucleated, to enable the corneo-scleral disc to be fashioned surgically in a sterile environment.
Can the recipients be told who donated the eyes?
No. The gift of sight is made anonymously.