Chaithanya Eye Hospital & Research Institute
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 Chaithanya Eye Bank

Chaithanya Eye Bank

The number of corneal transplants performed in our state is disappointingly low mainly due to lack of public awareness and poor communication between the donor and the transplant team. For proper utilization, the corneal tissue has to be taken from the deceased person within 6 hours. The ignorance of lay public, commotion in the family at the time of demise, delay of eye bank personnel to reach the site, limitations of storage etc. results in wastage of cornea.

In India, there are about 200 eye banks. But the number of eyes collected is about 20,000 every year, way below the target of 1 lakh cornea per year set by the Eye Bank Association of India [EBAI]. EBAI has been striving to bridge the yawning gap between the demand and supply through efforts with electronic media and focused campaigns during the Eye donation Fortnight along with conferences and felicitation of eye donor families.

Chaithanya Eye Bank, a registered member of Eye Bank Association of India has been active in the prompt collection of cornea, its proper storage and timely utilization.

It has the following advantages

  • Unlike most eye banks in Kerala, we remove only corneo-scleral rim from the deceased person and so there is absolutely no disfigurement of the body. For the same reason the chances of bleeding or oozing is practically non-existent.
  • We preserve the tissue in M-K medium [in which tissue can be kept for 72 to 96 hours] which gives us enough time to perform corneal transplantation almost as a planned procedure. With the enucleated eyeball, the surgery has to be performed preferably within 24 hours and so chances of wastage of tissue are high due to delay in completing the blood tests and in arranging the recipient.
  • Being a teaching hospital we have doctors who are well-versed with the appropriate method of corneo-scleral rim excision, round the clock and we ensure that there is no delay or inconvenience caused to the bereaved family.
  • We run Hospital based cornea retrieval programme [HCRP] in conjunction with Sri Chitra Thirunal Institute [SCT], Trivandrum. In that, counsellors housed in SCT contact the family members at the time of death and if they are willing for eye donation, the eye bank personnel are alerted immediately. The eye bank team reaches soon to perform the corneo-scleral rim excision minimizing the chances of wastage of this precious tissue.

Our Hospital based Cornea Retrieval Programme in association with Sri Chitra Thirunal Institute, Trivandrum has been successful in clearing a significant part of wait-listed patients for keratoplasty. Now, we are planning to expand the Hospital based Cornea Retrieval Programme to other hospitals in and around Trivandrum with the participation of Kerala Federation of the Blind [KFB] and National Association of the Blind [NAB].

Chaithanya Eye Hospital has a 24 hour eye bank for collection, preservation and distribution of corneas harvested. Dr. Vinay S Pillai DO, DNB is in charge of Eye Bank.

Being a charitable institution and a life member of the Eye Bank Association of India, Chaithanya Eye Bank maintains the procurement, preservation and distribution of donor eyes, serving the needy absolutely free of cost. The Institution also performs various types of corneal grafting.

Pledge cards are available at the hospital for people who wish to donate their eyes after death. You can register your names with the Eye bank and be a proud donor.

We are celebrating eye donation every year. Our main activity during the fortnight is to create awareness among younger generation viz. school children about the importance and necessity of eye donation. Every year elocution competition on eye donation for school children is held separately for junior and senior section. Cash prizes & trophies are awarded to winners. Trophy is also presented to the best school for creating awareness among children on eye donation.

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