FAQs About Eye Donation
- What is an eye bank?
It is the link between donor and recipient/eye surgeon.
- Who can be an eye donor?
Anyone can be a donor irrespective of age, sex or blood group.
- Do religious authorities approve of donating one’s eyes?
Yes, all religious faiths support this vital sight restoration program; however the decision to give the gift of sight is left to the individual.
- Is the whole eye used for transplant?
NO. Only the thin transparent layer in front of the iris called the cornea is used for transplant.
- What is a cornea?
Cornea is a transparent tissue without any blood vessels. A clear cornea enables one to have a good vision.
- How is the tissue harvested from a donor?
At Kanubhai Babla Lions Eye Bank, Corneas are retrieved by IN SITU CORNEAL EXCISION PROCEDURE. This procedure involves removing just the cornea from the whole eye of the deceased/donor. During corneal excision, the cornea along with the white part of the eye known as the sclera is excised out. 2-3 mm of sclera rim is excised 360 degrees. The procedure takes 20 to 30 minutes. Then the excised cornea is introduced into a preservative medium and transported to the eye bank for evaluation.
- What is meant by corneal transplantation?
It is a surgical procedure whereby an impaired cornea of the patient is replaced by a healthy cornea from a donor to regain the lost vision.
- How quickly should the corneas/eyes be removed after death?
Corneas/eyes should be removed within 6 hours of demise.
- Is it necessary to transport the donor to the hospital after death for donating eyes?
No. The eye bank personnel will go to the donor’s residence and remove the eyes.The procedure takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes
Facts and Myths About Eye Donation
- Myth: Eyes can be removed out of living human beings.
Fact: Eyes are removed only after death.
- Myth: Eyes can be donated even by a live person.
Fact: Eyes can only be pledged by a live person. Eyes can be donated only after death.
- Myth: Removal of eyes causes disfigurement of the face.
Fact: Removal of eyes does not produce any disfigurement of the face.
- Myth: Eye donation interferes with or delays customary final rites.
Fact: Eye donation does not interfere with or delay final rites, as the corneal excision procedure takes less than 20 minutes.
- Myth: Eyes of aged donors are not acceptable.
Fact: All donors’ eyes are acceptable irrespective of the donor’s age.
- Myth: An entire eye can be transplanted.
Fact: Only the cornea is used for transplantation.
- Myth: Cornea transplantation is an experimental procedure.
Fact: Cornea transplantation is a proven, routinely performed successful procedure.
- Myth: Corneal transplantation is not effective and successful in Kenya.
Fact: Corneal transplantation is effective in all eyes, if performed under optimal conditions.
- Myth: Human eyes can be bought or sold.
Fact: Selling or buying of human eyes is illegal.
- Myth: Only those who have pledged their eyes can donate them after death.
Fact: Pledging of eyes is very important but the family members must consent removal of corneas without which an eye cannot be removed.
- Myth: The cornea recipient will perceive the past activities of the donor through the donated cornea.
Fact: Eyes do not keep records of past events.