In this write-up, you will get to know more about Eye donation and the procedure involved. What is Eye Donation and How is this helpful? “Netram Pradhanam Servendriyanam” (Translation: Eyes are the precious gift given to the humans by the Almighty) - Lord Krishna to Arjuna (Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta, Chapter 15, Shloka 8.1) 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! “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.
Who all can donate their eyes?
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.
Who all CANNOT donate their eyes? Eyes will not be collected if death has occured 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.
So, i want to donate the eyes but What is the procedure?
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.
(In the next write-up, i will talk on the Facts and Myths of Eye donation, particularly in our country, India)