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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Oct;67(10):1570-1574. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2151_18.

Eye donation in north India: Trends, awareness, influences and barriers.

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Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Eye Bank Services, Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Indian Institute of Medical Research, New Delhi, India.



To understand trends, awareness, influences and barriers to eye donation in Indian society.


This cross sectional study was conducted in Delhi from March 2017 to February 2018. About 10 hospitals collaborated with the Eye Bank under Human Cornea Retrieval Program (HCRP). Eye Bank recruited Eye Donation Counselors (EDCs) to approach family members of the deceased. A pretested questionnaire was used for this study. Irrespective of whether the next of kin of the deceased consented for eye donation or not, the option of participating in the survey was given.


Out of 473 potential donors identified, 407 (86%) next of kin consented to participate in the study. Of these, 388 (95.3%) were males and 19 (4.7%) were females. About 168 (41%) consented for eye donation and were assigned to donor group, while 239 (59%) participants refused eye donation and were assigned to non-donor group. Majority of the participants were siblings 170 (41.8%) of the deceased and the mean age of the deceased was 42.71 ± 17.56 years. The foremost concern before decision-making was transparency in how the cornea would be used (32.25%). The concern with regards to whether the body would remain intact after eye donation significantly decreased the probability of consent for eye donation.


The study highlights that barriers to eye donation in India are not cultural or religious but more due to misinformation and proper utilization of the donated tissue. This study also emphasizes the pivotal role of EDC's in facilitating the eye donation movement.


Awareness; barriers; corneal blindness; eye bank; eye donation; eye donation counselors; hospital cornea retrieval programme

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