Donating Your Eyes:
Anyone can donate eyes. All that needs to be done is that close relatives or friends who take care of the body of the deceased must immediately call the nearest eye bank so that the corneas can be removed within six hours of the time of death. Making a pledge helps tell those who take charge of the body after death that the deceased had a wish of eye donation. According to Indian law the final decision for cornea removal is with the custodians of the deceased body. It is therefore very important to inform these people of your wish to have your eyes donated.
To have your eyes donated it is not a must to make a pledge but the pledge can help. While making this pledge the entire family must be involved so that they can remember to call the eye bank immediately after the death.
The process of removing the eyes from the body of the deceased is called enucleation. Although it is only the corneas that are finally used, the entire eye is removed and transported in special containers to the eye bank. The enucleation procedure ensures minimum disfiguring to the body.
Enucleation must happen within six hours from the time of death for the corneas to be usable. A competent medical practitioner from an eye bank needs to come over with equipment. Most eye banks have a 24 hour response service which receives calls and sends a medical practitioner for the enucleation.
Once the corneas are removed, they are transported to the eye bank and stored under special conditions until required for a surgery. The corneas are tested and graded. Some corneas are rejected since they are not suitable for transplant. These corneas are then given to colleges and hospitals for research. When a request comes for corneas a suitable match is made with the available corneas. If a cornea is found suitable it is provided to the eye surgeon for the surgery. The names of the donor and recipient are kept confidential. EBAI is striving to ensure that corneas are available so that all those who need them can find a suitable cornea with one of the nearby eye banks.
Corneas can be stored and transported for a good length of time. Most airlines carry corneas free of charge when they need to be carried to another city / country. This helps to ensure distribution of corneas to areas where they are required the most.
The need for corneas in India is very large and far outstrips their availability. Many corneally blind have to suffer for want of suitable corneas. To increase eye donation among the population of Indians we are working so that more corneas can be used to relieve corneal blindness in the country.
Facts about Eye Donation
Whom to call for Eye Donation
Eye Bank, Dr. Daljit Singh Eye Hospital, 2 Radhaswami Rd., The Mall,
Amritsar-143001(Punjab) Call: +91- 183-2228061; 2551600;
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