Rekha Gyanchand

The voluntary eye donation is still the most popular methods of eye donation in our country. Since last three decades, the voluntary eye donation is promoted by a number of NGOs and Government of India. The meaning of voluntary eye donation is that an individual has prior knowledge about eye donation and also has the contact number of the eye bank. When they come across any death in their community, they will contact the eye bank for eye donation. As per Eye Bank Association of India, the incidence of total blindness is 8.9 million and 1% of this is corneal blindness. Each year, 25,000 to 30,000/new corneal blind patients are added. The voluntary eye donation is not sufficient in providing transplantable corneas to the corneal blind. As our concentration is mainly on voluntary eye collections, this is one of the main reasons that we are unable reach our target of sight restoration in the management of corneal blindness. In this study, we have analysed the voluntary eye donations procured from residence and hospital. The aim of the study is to compare corneas procured by hospital eye donations and residence eye donations to look into all factors that contribute to a transplantable cornea.

The donor corneas retrieved from the year 2005-2010 were analysed. The hospital eye donations and residential eye donations were divided into two study groups. The factors analysed were number of corneas collected, donor age and gender, serology test result, death to preservation time (DPT), optical grade cornea, utilisation of corneas for transplantation and role of pledging in eye donation. Study Type- Retrospective study. Study Done- At Lions International Eye Bank, Bangalore.

The total number of donor eyes collected from the year 2005-2010 were 7362 of which residence collections was 50.73% and hospital collections was 49.26%. The 5-year period between from 2005 to 2010 in spite of not conducting a Hospital Cornea Retrieval Program (HCRP), we still had received a number of young corneas from hospitals. The transplantable grade corneas were 26.33% in hospital eye donations and 16.26% at residence. The death to enucleation time was less in hospital deaths when compared to that of residence collection.

The hospital eye donations more of transplantable grade corneas were collected when compared to residence eye donations. The HCRP would be the method to target the backlog of corneal blindness. The various public awareness programs do play an important role in spreading the message of eye donation.