- What is eye donation?
Donating one’s eyes after death is eye donation.
- What is a cornea and how do cornea transplants restore sight?
The cornea is a clear dime-sized tissue that covers the front of the eye. If the cornea
becomes clouded through disease or injury, vision is impaired and sometimes lost
entirely. The only substitute for a human cornea is another human cornea donated at
death by someone who thus leaves behind a living legacy.
- What is corneal transplantation?
A corneal transplant is the surgical procedure, which replaces a disc-shaped
segment of a defective cornea with a similarly shaped piece of a healthy donor
cornea. The new cornea is placed into the area where the damaged tissue was
removed and then stitched into place.
- Why should eyes be donated?
Donated human eyes are necessary for the preservation and restoration of sight.
More than 92% of manitobans receiving a corneal transplant each year had their
vision successfully restored.
- Is the whole eye used for transplantation?
No. Only the cornea of the eye is used for transplantation.
- When are the eyes removed?
Donor eyes must be removed within six to twelve hours after death.
- Who can donate eyes?
Almost everyone can donate his or her eyes. Donors can be from ages 1 through 75
for transplantation. After age 75, the eyes may still be donated for medical education
and research. People who have poor vision and wear glasses, or have had previous
eye diseases or surgery can still donate, since these conditions may not affect the
cornea. Eyes donated to the eye bank that are not medically suitable for transplant
may be used for medical research and education.
- Who will benefit from eye donation?
Individuals who are blind from corneal diseases will benefit from eye donation.
- Will my family have to pay for donation?
Donation is regarded as a gift and there are no charges to the donor family.
- Will there be a delay in funeral arrangements because of eye donation?
No. The procedure of eye donation takes only 20 – 30mts.
- Will eye donation affect the appearance of the donor?
No. There will be no disfigurement to the face.
- Are there any religious objections for donating eyes?
No religion is against eye donation.
- Can the eyes of the individuals having diabetes, hypertension be donated?
Yes. People with systemic diseases can also donate eyes.
- Is there a need to match blood for cornea transplantation?
No, matching is not necessary. However, 5ml of blood will be collected from the
donor to test for diseases like aids, jaundice and sexually transmitted diseases.
- How soon after donation must a cornea be transplanted?
A cornea transplant is usually performed within three to seven days after donation,
depending upon the method of cornea preservation.
- Am I too old/young to be an eye donor?
No. There is generally a use for eyes of any age.
- How do research and education benefit from eye donation?
In addition to corneas used for surgical procedures, the corneas that are not suitable
for transplantation are used for research and education. Research into glaucoma,
retinal disease, complications of diabetes and other sight disorders benefit from
donations because many eye problems cannot be simulated-only human eyes can
be used. These studies advance the discovery of the causes and effects of specific
eye conditions and lead to new treatments and cures.
- What happens to unused tissue?
Tissue not used for transplantation or research is disposed of in an ethical manner.
- Who cannot donate eyes?
The donor eyes are screened for the following diseases:
Certain cancers, although most cancer patients may donate eyes and corneas.
Intravenous (iv) drug use
Active infections (for example, sepsis)
Potential donors with these diseases or conditions may not become tissue donors.
Physicians and trained procurement professionals investigate other diseases or
conditions that may affect donation on a case-by-case basis to ensure that no
disease is present that might harm a tissue recipient.
- What kind of research is done with eye donations?
Research into diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and diseases of the retina are
advanced through eye donation.
- Should eye donation be included in a will?
No. Tissue must be used long before the will can be probated. However, the time of
making a will is a good time to discuss eye, tissue and organ donation with close
- Will the natural eye color change after surgery?
No. The iris (the colored part of the eye) isn’t affected by a corneal transplant.
Close the eyelids of the deceased.
Switch off the fan.
Raise the head of the deceased slightly by placing a pillow underneath.
Contact the Eye Bank as quickly as possible.
Give the correct address with specific landmarks and telephone number to enable
the eye bank team locate the place easily.
If the death certificate from the physician is available, keep it ready.
Eye donation can be done only with the written consent of the next of kin in the
presence of two witnesses.