Tiruchi Government Hospital gets an eye bank

The new facility that can store retrieved cornea and help those with corneal blindness will start functioning from today

An eye bank has been established at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital in Tiruchi to store retrieved cornea and help patients with corneal blindness to regain their vision.

The new facility will start functioning on Saturday at the hospital which caters to the medical needs of the poor from neighbouring districts as well.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Tamil Nadu, has given its consent and granted permission to start the eye bank at the Tiruchi Government Hospital for the benefit of the poor and needy corneal blind patients.

The eye bank has been set up at a cost of around Rs. 28 lakh and it would be managed by an expert team, comprising two Chief Ophthalmologists and three Assistant Surgeons.

The main function of the bank is to procure the eyes of voluntary donors after their death; transport and store them under aseptic condition and transplant the cornea by surgery to the needy patients to enable them regain vision, Dr. Parthiban Purushothaman, Professor and Head, Department of Ophthalmology , Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, Tiruchi told ‘ The Hindu’ . This is the first time that an eye bank has been established at a government hospital in Tiruchi, he said.

A recipient register would be maintained to keep a list of blind and eligible patients who would be called as soon as eyes were available to be transplanted.

The eye bank would serve the needy corneal blind patients awaiting treatment for a long time to gain vision.

The eye bank, under the leadership of the hospital Dean, would organise human corneal retrieval programme within the hospital campus besides conducting awareness campaigns to spread information regarding voluntary eye donation in association with non-governmental and voluntary organisations, said Dr. Parthiban.

The Department of Ophthalmology has a modern operation theatre exclusively for corneal transplant with sophisticated equipment to conduct the procedure immediately on receiving the donor eyes, he further said.

Poor and needy corneal blind patients of Tiruchi and its neighbouring districts would be benefited from the establishment of the eye bank as the surgery would be free of cost for the recipients, he said.

According to statistics there were about 18.7 million blind people in the country of which 1 per cent had corneal blindness that could be treated by corneal transplant surgery.

Dr. Parthiban said the department had a team which would retrieve eyes from donors any time and deposit it in the eye bank for corneal transplantation.

All eye donation information would be kept strictly confidential.

The eye bank would have counsellors to motivate and counsel relatives to donate the eyes of persons who die at the hospital.

The eye bank has been set up at a cost of around Rs. 28 lakh and it would be run by an expert team

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:19:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/Tiruchi-Government-Hospital-gets-an-eye-bank/article16724873.ece

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