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Let Others See Through Your Eyes

There are 15 million cases of corneal blindness (curable blindness) in India of which 4.6 million (90 percent of corneal blindness in India) are below the age of 45 including 60% of patients below the age of 12. The cornea is the clear transparent portion or a button as it is called, in front of colored iris and round pupil of the eye. It is also mostly responsible for focusing the light rays on retina, making it very important part of the eye.

The loss of transparency results in loss of sight making it a common cause of blindness. Thus the demand for corneal tissue is far greater than its supply, therefore the Endeavour to make awareness.

We could do this because of someone’s eye donation. So, be a sight saver. Donate your eyes. Help two blinds to see the WORLD.

Coming to terms with bereavement is hard; but the idea that our death may help others can be comforting. Here are a few facts that would dispel doubts and queries.

There is no substitute for human tissue. The transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of corneal donation from one human to the next. Donated human eyes and corneal tissue are used for research, education and transplantation.

The cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the eye. Vision will be dramatically reduced if the cornea becomes cloudy from disease, injury or infection.

This is a surgical procedure, which replaces a disc shaped segment of an impaired cornea with a similarly shaped piece of healthy donor cornea replaced .

No, only the cornea can be transplanted. The sclera may be used in other types of eye surgery. The entire eye may be used in research and education.

The Sclera is the tough, white, fibrous protective outer layer of the eye.

Research on glaucoma, retinal disease, diabetic complications of the eye and other sight disorders helps to advance the discovery of the cause and effect of these conditions.

Most of the corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipients sight and it the most successful organ transplant.

Most people can. There are a few exceptions. There is no age limit. Cataracts, poor eyesight or age do not prevent you from being a donor. It is important that your family know your wishes.

There are never enough corneas in the eye bank. Artificial tissue has been tried, but has so far been unsuccessful.

An eye bank obtains, medically evaluates and distributes the eyes for use in corneal transplantation. Corneas from donors are stored in the eye banks where they can be kept for up to four weeks.

No. Donation is an opportunity to help save a life, or restore someone’s sight. Eye, organ and tissue donation are consistent with the beliefs and attitudes of most major religions.

No, eye retrieval will not interfere with the funeral arrangements or family viewing.

No, great care is taken to preserve the donor’s appearance.

Donor eyes are carefully evaluated. Corneas determined unsuitable for transplant may be use in ethically approved research, only if permission / consent was obtained.

The gift of sight is made anonymously. Specific information about the donor family is not available to the recipient. The eye bank will always convey recipients thanks to the donor family.

Tell your family and friends.

The family of the donor is asked to sign a ‘lack of objection’ form (‘consent’ form) stating their wishes. To ensure the safety of the recipient, the donor’s medical and social history is reviewed. A small blood sample (10ml) is taken to screen for viruses that may prevent donation, this can be taken after the patient has died.

Here, you will get to know more about Eye donation, its Importance and the procedure involved.

Eye donation is donating the eyes after a person’s death. Eyes are very valuable part of a human being, which should not be wasted either by burning or burying the body.
Donation of the eyes gives sight to TWO Corneally blind persons, enabling them to come out of their dark and dreary life into a life full of colors, a life where they can see and enjoy this beautiful world!

There is no substitute for human tissue. The transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of Cornea donation from one human to the next. The use of artificial tissue for transplantation has been unsuccessful. We know that we are not going to live permanent here but after our death, let our eyes live in this world by giving a new life to blind!

Age does not matter while making this precious donation. Person suffering from Diabetics, Hypertension, Systemic disorders like Asthma and Tuberculosis CAN ALSO donate their eyes. Cataract surgery patient can also be a happy donor. Above all, all Religions endorse the practice of eye donations and its one great valuable service a person can do in his/her life.

Eyes will not be collected if death has occurred due to the following diseases.

  • AIDS / Hepatitis B
  • Septicemia / Sepsis: Viral Infection spread thru bloodstream affecting vital organs
  • Leukemia: Disease related to Bone Marrow
  • Rabies: Fatal viral disease, transmitted by the bite of warm-blooded animals like dogs
  • Cancer with Metastasis to Head and Neck: Transmission of pathogenic microorganisms/cancerous cells thru blood vessels.
  • Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain
  • Hodgkins Lymphoma: Cancerous growth of cells in the Lymph system of the body.

Donation can happen in either of these two ways.

  • S/He can walk in to a nearest Eye Bank and PLEDGE their eyes for donation. For this, a pledge form needs to be filled, signed by a witness (can be your relative/friend) and given back to the eye bank. In the time of that person’s death, his/her relative/friend, who was a witness for the pledge form or any other family member/friend who had the knowledge that the person who passed away intended to donate the eyes, should call the nearest eye bank. One important aspect to be noted here that it is not sufficient if a person pledges for donating his/her eyes after the death. His/her relatives and friends should be well informed and be well aware to call the nearest eye bank, for donating the eyes after their death.
  • After death, a relative or a friend of the deceased person can inform the eye bank and tell them that they wish to donate the eyes of their bereaved folk.

Steps to take care for donation of the eyes

  • Call the nearest eye bank within SIX HOURS of the death of the person.
  • Switch off fans & keep AC on, if you have one.
  • Close the eye lids gently and keep a moist cloth over eyes.
  • Raise head with a pillow.

Points worth to be noted

  • Persons of any Age/Sex can donate their eyes
  • Persons who have undergone surgery for Cataract, Glaucoma or using Spectacles can also pledge and donate their eyes.
  • Eyes should be donated preferably within SIX hours after the death.
  • Nobody is charged for making eye donation. The only cost to encounter is one local telephone call.
  • Face will NOT get disfigured after eye donation. As per the new procedures, only Cornea portion is removed and hence face disfigurement does not happen.
  • Immediate family members or relatives can donate the eyes of the deceased even if the deceased had not pledged for eye donation during his/her life time.
  • Eyes can be donated to any eye bank in India but preferably to the nearest eye bank to avoid delays.
  • TWO Corneally blind persons can get sight due to a single person's eye donation. Myths associated with Eye Donation

Here, you can get to know some MYTHS associated with Eye donation, in India, that may be preventing many people from donating their eyes...

Some people think that if they donate their eyes, it will leave holes in the place where their eyes existed. Wrong. Only the Cornea portion of the eye is removed and hence the appearance of the face of the deceased remains the same.

Some other people are of the opinion that if they donate their eyes in this life, they shall be born blind in the next life. Wrong. There is no written rule about this and nobody has experienced this! Eye donation is truly a good deed and a good deed always begets good. All religions and their institutions support eye donation and consider it as one of the best donation a person can make.

Some people hesitate to pledge their eyes for donation worrying about how their relatives will react. Such people should keep in mind that a little resistance should not hinder the good deed that one is performing. In fact, they should try to motivate their relatives and friends for donating the eyes, by describing the good effects of this donation movement.

Person with eye problem like Cataract or Glaucoma cannot donate their eyes. Also, the person is very old and hence cannot donate his/her eyes.

Wrong. A Person who HAS Cataract or Glaucoma CANNOT donate their eyes, But a person OPERATED for Cataract or Glaucoma can BE considered for eye donation. Also, Age will not come into picture while donating the eyes. As long as the person or his/her family/friends have a good mindset of doing some good to blind, can donate their eyes.

I was reading an article in the Newsletter of EBAI where i found that the eyes of an 105 year old lady of Mysore district was donated (in 2002) and now, her eyes is used by two blind persons to see this beautiful world! How amazing it could be...

Hopefully, in this 21st century, people will not yield to these myths and hence come out and volunteer themselves for donating their eyes, to make this world a 'blind-free' world!!

Once again, ARISE, AWAKE, SPREAD THE WORD and HELP THE NEEDY!

A well worked stategy to increase Eye Donation awareness called HCRP Hospital Corneal Retrieval Program (HCRP) is a proactive program initiated in some hospitals across the country. In this programme, a specially trained social worker, called Eye Donation Counselor (EDC) [or Grief Counselor] is positioned at a hospital round the clock at the ICUs, Trauma units, Nephrology centers and so on, to build up rapport with the attendants, staffs and doctors. When the death occurs, after the bereaved family has reconciled itself to the tragic reality, the EDC makes a sensitive request for the donation of the eyes.

It has been found out by the EBAI (Eye Bank Association of India) that the success rate is good and has been effective.

Quick look at the procedure for pledging/donating the eyes

Pledging procedure:
Any person can walk into the nearest Eye Bank and PLEDGE their eyes for donation. Once you are in eye bank, ask for the Eye Pledge form available there.

  • This form needs to be filled with the correct contact details, signed by 1/2 witness/es (can be your relative/friend) and given back to the eye bank.
  • Once done, the eye bank people will issue a DONOR card that has contact details of the eye bank.
  • Please place this card in a place of your home where all the family members has access to it.
  • At the time of that person’s death, his/her relative/friend, who was a witness for the pledge form or any other family member/friend who had the knowledge that the person who passed away intended to donate the eyes, should call the nearest eye bank.

One important aspect to be noted here that it is NOT sufficient if a person pledges for donating his/her eyes after the death. Pledging is just 20% of the work done and the rest lies with the actual eye donation. His/her relatives and friends should be well informed and be well aware to call the nearest eye bank, for donating the eyes after their death.

Donating procedure:

Irrespective of whether a person has pledges his/her eyes OR not, eye donation can happen. Pledging is for creating awareness and acts as a reminder to do this job.

Once a death of a person happens in your family or in your friend's family, pick up the phone and dial to the nearest eye bank. Please note that this should be done WITHIN 6 hours of the death. Give the eye bank officials the location of the house along with a landmark so that they can come soon and collect the eyes. These eyes will be giving a new life for 2 blind people!!

Important points to be taken care after a person's death, before eye donation: After the death of a person...

  • Call the nearest eye bank within SIX HOURS of the death of the person.
  • Switch off fans & keep AC on, if you have one.
  • Close the eye lids gently and keep a moist cloth over the eyes.
  • Raise head with a pillow.
  • Keep the death certificate from a doctor ready by the time the Eye Bank team arrives.

About Pledging Eyes

  • Anyone can make a pledge to donate one’s eyes.
  • Write or call the Eye Bank for a pledge card.
  • Sign and send the pledge card to the Eye Bank.
  • The Eye Bank will send you a ‘Donor Card’ and ‘Companion Card’.
  • Carry the ‘Donor Card’ with you always and give the companion card to your next of kin.
  • Discuss your wish to donate your eyes with your family and friends.
  • Strive to pledge the eyes of the whole family.

Please act upon, keeping in mind the above points and pledge/donate the eyes and Gift Sight.

“Eyes are a precious gift to a person. But the same eyes bring misery when misused or when they are lost. A wise man utilizes that gift while alive and on death too”. - A famous poet.

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info@keniaeyehospital.com