Donate your Eyes
Can you imagine a world of complete darkness? We use our eyes for almost all our daily functions, and a world without vision is a grim prospect. For many people, the only hope of sight is offered by someone who donates his or her cornea. The number of people awaiting corneal transplant is outnumbering the available donor tissues. Hence there is a need to donate eyes and motivate others.
Why donate your Eyes?
By donating eyes one would be bestowing upon a fellow human being, the most precious gift: SIGHT, that will dramatically improve the quality of life of a person who has otherwise lived in total darkness, and hence our eyes can live even after our death.
Who can donate the Eyes?
- Anyone beyond 8 years of age can donate eyes.
- Persons having Cataract and Glaucoma as well as persons who are operated for these conditions can donate eyes.
- Person having high power glasses (high number) can donate his/her eyes.
- People dying of cancer, AIDS, hepatitis can also donate eyes. However, these eyes will not be used for transplantation purpose. They are utilized for research.
What is a Eye bank?
An Eye Bank is a charitable organization, purely functioning for the benefit of the society. It facilitates removal, processing and evaluation of the cornea, to distribute them to the needy. The first Eye Bank was set up in United States in 1945 at Newark City. India has more than 500 eye banks
Eye Banks are covered under “Transplantation of Human Organs Act” since 1994. Under this Act, buying / selling human organs is a criminal offence. The Government of India therefore issues a Certificate of Registration to eye banks and has a provision to inspect them regularly, to ensure that eye donations are not misused.
Important instructions and precautions regarding Eye Donation
- If you wish to donate your eyes, kindly register your name with the eye bank, so that your relatives are aware and follow the procedure required for donation. However, it’s not a legal requirement.
- Relatives should contact the eye bank as early as possible (immediately) after death, as it is necessary to remove eyes within 4 hours of death.
- Give the correct home address with specific landmarks, mobile and residence numbers and alternate contact details, to enable the eye bank staff in locating the house easily.
- Copy of the donor’s death certificate (mandatory) needs to be given to the eye bank staff. It is mandatory.
- If the dying person has not expressed a wish to donate eyes, the next of kin of the dead person can take the decision to donate eyes.
- The family members of the deceased need to give their consent for the eye donation, on a printed form in the presence of two witnesses.
- After death ensure that eyes are closed.
- Switch off all the fans in the room.
- Raise the head of the deceased slightly by placing a pillow underneath.
- Keep moist cotton pad over the eyes.
- The eye removal procedure is carried out by a trained technician and/or a registered medical practitioner of the eye bank either at the home of the deceased eye donor or at the hospital (if the eye donor passed away in a hospital), with utmost care and respect for the deceased and his/her family members.
- The procedure for eye donation requires 25 to 30 minutes. 2 to 3 cc of blood for HIV & related tests will also be collected.