Saturday, December 3, 2011

Donate Eyes Give Sight

What is Eye Donation?
Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her  death. Only corneal blinds can be benefitted through this process not other Blinds. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of the society and is totally voluntary. It is done after death. The eye donation of the deceased can be authorized by the next of kith & kin even if the deceased did not pledge to donate his / her eyes before death.

What is the use of eyes received?
The eyes, which are received through such magnanimous gestures, are of great benefit to the society. The front, clear and transparent tissue of the eye called as cornea can be used to restore vision to corneal blind person. The other portions of the eye are also used for research and  training   purposes to develop cures for some of the common eye diseases.

How can one donate eyes?
Eyes are removed only after death. A person wishing to donate eyes should make close family members aware of their intentions. After the death of the person, it is the family who can inform the nearest eye bank to fulfill the wishes of the deceased or authorize the removal of the eyes if somebody from an eye bank approaches the family.

What is an Eye Bank?
 An Eye Bank is a charitable organization and is not for profit .They are purely functioning for the benefit of the society. The eye banks facilitate removal of eyes, processing of eyes and evaluation of the eyes and distribute them to the needy.  The first Eye Bank was set up in United states in 1945 at Newyark City.  Around 500 + – Eye banks in India.     

How do I ensure that the eyes so donated would not be misused?
Eye Banks are covered under “Transplantation of Human Organs Act”  since 1994. It is a criminal offence to buy or sell organs. The Government issues a certificate of registration to eye banks and has a provision to inspect them regularly. In case a complaint is filed against any eye bank, the Government can take legal action.

How do I contact an eye bank?
A special Toll free number 1919 (BSNL) Nationwide  has been allotted for eye banks. Most of the eye banks all over the country have this number, once information for eye donation is communicated to eye banks; the eye bank sends its team to collect the eyes. By calling this number, details about eye donation can also be obtained.Also,all local news paper carry the eye banks number in their Emergency Number list.You can even get it from 197(BSNL/TATA Directory numbers.)At last,if required,you can contact any hospital and ask them for thelocal eye bank number.

What precautions are to be taken?
Switch off fans and switch on Air conditioner (if available). Raise the head of the deceased slightly by placing a pillow underneath. Place wet clean cloth over the closed eye lids. Please ensure that the eyelids are properly closed. Keep a copy of the death certificate ready (if available). Contact the nearest eye bank as quickly as possible.Give the correct address with specific  landmarks or famous name of our area and mobile and residenc number to enable the team of eye bank for locating the house easily.Give alternate cell number of any available relatives also.The eye bank team, which would have a trained technician and/or a registered medical practitioner, would remove the eyes after taking consent on a printed form in the presence of two witnesses and also take A small quantity of  blood sample will be drawn to rule out communicable diseases.

Is eye donation against religious principles or traditions?
All religions endorse eye donation. There are numerous examples in our traditions and scriptures, which endorse eye and organ donation. A part of the body would be consumed by flames and reduced to ashes or which is buried and allowed to decay and disintegrate & cannot be put to a better use than restoring vision to the needy!!!

Who can donate eyes? Is there any age limit?
Any person of any age can donate eyes. Even if the deceased has medical history of hypertension, diabetes, asthma, tuberculosis etc., and even spectacle wearers and people who have undergone cataract operation can donate eyes.

Why you need to donate your eyes and these include:
  1. 1.5% of the population are unnecessarily blind
  2. 25% live below the poverty line
  3. 2.5 million children are suffering, including those who don't have the correct spectacles
  4. 32% are under 15
  5. 60% of blind children will not make it to adulthood. A cumulative economic loss to India's GNP of US$11.1 billion
  6. 75% live in rural areas
  7. There are 12,000 ophthalmologists in the country but the majorities of them live and work in the urban areas
  8. 40% live in rural areas in central & northern India where there is little access to quality eye care services

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