Eye Donation Awareness and Conversion Rate in Hospital Cornea Retrieval Programme in a Tertiary Hospital of Central India

J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Aug;11(8):NC12-NC15. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2017/27287.10421. Epub 2017 Aug 1.


Introduction: Corneal blindness accounts for 6-8 million blinds in the world. In India, it is estimated that there are approximately 6.8 million people who have vision less than 6/60 in at least one eye due to corneal diseases.

Aim: This study was done to assess the awareness about eye donation amongst attendants of critically ill and deceased patients, their willingness to donate eyes, the efficacy of grief counselling by Eye Donation Counsellors (EDC), its impact on the conversion rate and the reasons for poor donation rate.

Materials and methods: This prospective hospital based study was done in 554 participants (guardians of critically ill and deceased subjects) to understand the awareness of eye donation. Factors related to willingness for eye donation that influenced conversion to actual donation were evaluated. Data was analysed with tests for statistical significance: Chi square test; p<0.05 at 95% confidence interval was set as significant.

Results: Awareness index particularly in males <40 years, was found to be statistically more. In participants who were partially/fully aware of eye-donation, time taken for motivation remained less than 12 hours, which was statistically significant (Chi square=106. p<0.001). Subject who were aware, willing for donation in comparison to those who were unaware in a ratio of 2:1. Grief counsellors (57.5%) had the most influence among the causes that were facilitators of donation.

Conclusion: Utilizing the services of eye donation counsellors is a promising way to motivate the guardians of deceased. Increasing the awareness in society, rendering simple assistances to next of kin and speeding the medico legal formalities can go a long way in increasing the conversion rate and hence actual donation.

Keywords: Corneal blindness; Corneal transplantation; Eye donation counsellors; Retrieval rate.