Medical students' perception on eye donation in Delhi

Indian J Ophthalmol. Jan-Feb 2007;55(1):49-53. doi: 10.4103/0301-4738.29495.

Abstract

Corneal transplantation remains a major treatment option for restoring sight among those suffering from corneal blindness. The number of corneal transplants done is far less than the actual requirement in India. This is largely due to the inadequate numbers of corneas collected. Medical students can be involved in the motivation of patients and relatives to pledge their eyes and to do grief counseling for donating eyes. The aim of the study was to assess the perception and willingness of 180 first-year medical students towards eye donation in Delhi. They were administered a pretested semi-structured questionnaire on eye donation. Data were analyzed using Epi-Info software package 6.04 version. The majority (99.4%) of students knew that eyes can be donated after death but only 41.1% knew that the ideal time of donation was within six hours of death. Most participants (87.2%) were willing to donate eyes. Nobility in the act of eye donation was the main motivational force for eye donation according to 85.5% of students. Perceived reasons for not pledging eyes by the people were: lack of awareness (32.7%), objection by family members (27.7%), unsuitability to donate because of health problem (17.7%) and the unacceptable idea to separate the eye from the body (15.5%). Mass media such as television, newspapers, magazines and posters were important sources of information on eye donation. Perceived reasons for not donating eyes need to be considered while creating awareness about eye donation in the community.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Eye*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*