Since 1961, U.S. eye banks have provided corneas for over 2 million sight-restoring transplants.
Published: November 1, 2020
November is Eye Donation Month, a time when the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and its member eye banks raise awareness about life-changing opportunities created through eye donation. Since 1961, U.S. eye banks have provided corneas for over 2 million sight-restoring transplants.
The theme of this year’s Eye Donation Month is “A Community of Compassion,” and the month-long observance highlights stories of donors, recipients, and all those who make the gift of sight possible. Eye bank staff, hospital administrators, medical examiners/coroners, ophthalmologists, and cornea donor families are the enduring champions for the millions of people around the world whose lives are transformed through cornea donation and transplantation.
Did you know?
- Eye donation refers only to the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye), which is replaced during a 45-minute transplant procedure, restoring sight for those with cornea-related blindness.
- The entire eye can be used for research and education, potentially helping untold thousands of people regain their sight as researchers develop a new understanding of the causes of and cures for eye conditions that lead to blindness.
- Eye, tissue, and organ donor registration can be coordinated via registerme.org, individual state registries, or through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Prospective donors need to notify the family of their wishes because of their cooperation during a medical/social history interview is required before transplantation.
- Each year, millions of people around the world have their lives transformed through cornea donation and transplantation. In 2019, 85,601 corneas were provided for transplant with a more than 95 percent success rate, providing $6 billion in lifetime economic benefit for the recipients. In 2019, there were 68,759 U.S. donors of ocular tissue.
- EBAA-member eye banks are nonprofit organizations that obtain, medically evaluate, and distribute corneas donated by caring individuals for use in corneal transplantation, research, and education.
During Eye Donation Month, EBAA and its 92-member eye banks promote cornea donation and transplantation awareness, encourage individuals to register as eye, organ, and tissue donors, share stories about donors and their families, and celebrate cornea recipients.
EBAA is the nationally-recognized accrediting body for eye banks. Since 1961, EBAA member eye banks nationwide have made possible more than 2,000,000 sight-restoring corneal transplantations. Individuals interested in learning more about cornea donation and transplantation should visit the EBAA website at restoresight.org. While there, visitors can also get information on registering as a donor to leave the lasting legacy of the gift of sight.
To register as a donor: www.registerme.org.