Nearly 6.8 million people in India have vision less than 6/60 in at least one eye due to corneal diseases; of these, about a million had bilateral involvement.
To identify the challenges faced; the trends in collection, storage and utilisation of corneal tissues in an eye bank in north India.
The past records of Eye Bank linked to a tertiary hospital in northern India were analysed from November’1999 to October’2015 with respect to number of eye donations per year, donor demographics and utilisation of corneal tissues.
The number of donations during the first 6 years were 100, 279 in the next 5 years and 473 in the last 5 years. The mean donor age was 63.2 ± 19.5 years. The percentage of donors less than 30, 31-60 and more than 60 years was 10%, 28% and 62%. Forty-two percent donations were from the hospital. The average time between the death and enucleation was 4.74 ± 5.31 hours. The percentage of corneas used in the donor age groups less than 30, 31-60 and above 60 years was 61.9%, 61.6% and 53.8%, respectively. The usability rate of the corneas from home and hospital was 63.7% and 55.3%, respectively.
The eye bank had a lukewarm response in the beginning, but gained momentum with time. The myths and beliefs prevalent in our society deter people from donating eyes freely. Each eye bank needs to individualise its problems and find solutions for adequate procurement and utilisation of tissue.