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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-97

To study awareness and willingness of eye donation among paramedical workers

Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil Medical College and Research Center, Pimpri, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission09-Apr-2014
Date of Acceptance15-Apr-2014
Date of Web Publication7-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Spriha Arun
Department of Ophthalmolgy, Padmashree Dr. Dnyandeo Yashwantrao Patil Medical College and Research Center, Pimpri, Pune - 411 018, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2320-3897.156599

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Context: Current corneal procurement rates are inadequate to meet transplantation needs in India. Thus proper health care education and awareness regarding eye donation is essential. Aims: To study awareness and willingness of eye donation among paramedical workers. Settings and Design: Cross-sectional study design. Materials and Methods: Sixty paramedical workers were asked to answer a pretested semi-structured questionnaire in their own language. Questions were asked pertaining to demographic profile and assessment of awareness about eye donation. Statistical Analysis Used: SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) version 15.0. Results: The majority (45/60) of the paramedical staff were aware that eyes can be donated after death and 48/60 respondents knew that the ideal time for eye donation was within 6 hours of death. Perceived reasons for not pledging eyes by the paramedical staff included the unacceptable idea of separating the eye from the body causing disfigurement of face (16/60), lack of awareness about the concept of an eye bank where eyes can be preserved (18/60) and religious restrictions (9/60). Conclusion: The paramedical staffs of any hospital are the backbone of the health care system and can play a major role in motivating patients and their next of kin towards eye donation. Our study concluded that even though 83.33% (50/60) of paramedics had some knowledge of eye donation, 15% (9/60) believed it to be against their religious beliefs and 26.66 %( 16/60) respondents believed that it caused disfigurement of face. These beliefs are a major hurdle towards patient motivation for eye donation.Key words: Heidelberg retinal tomography, Optical coherence tomography, optic disc area, optic disc cup area, optic disc rim area, optic cup-disc ratio

Keywords: Awareness, eye donation, paramedical staff

How to cite this article:
Magdum R, Arun S, Mushtaq I, Sharma N. To study awareness and willingness of eye donation among paramedical workers . J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2015;3:95-7

How to cite this URL:
Magdum R, Arun S, Mushtaq I, Sharma N. To study awareness and willingness of eye donation among paramedical workers . J Clin Ophthalmol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Mar 24];3:95-7. Available from: https://www.jcor.in/text.asp?2015/3/2/95/156599

Corneal blindness is due to scarring or clouding of the normally transparent cornea. Usual causes are infection, Vitamin A deficiency and trauma. As per the current statistics, corneal blindness is the 4 th leading cause of blindness worldwide. [1]

Keratoplasty or Corneal transplantation is the sight restoring surgery for corneal blindness. It is a surgical procedure where the damaged or diseased cornea is removed and replaced by a healthy cornea from a deceased donor. This surgery is presently totally dependent on eye donation after death.

Inspite of establishment of the hospital cornea recovery programme and modern eye banking models in India, the current cornea procurement rate in India is a dismal 22,000 per year. [2] The annual requirement of corneas being 100,000 and utilization being only 40% (8800). To increase the procurement of corneas, raising the level of public awareness on eye donation is of utmost importance.

Paramedical staffs of any hospital are the backbone of the health care system. They have an inherent inclination to serve mankind. They spend relatively more time with critically-ill patients and hence can play a major role in sensitising them and their relatives to this important cause. Thus keeping this in mind a hospital based survey was conducted to assess the awareness about eye donation amongst paramedical staff using a questionnaire in an urban area of western Maharashtra.

  Materials and Methods Top

This cross-sectional study was carried out in a tertiary health care hospital in an urban area of western Maharashtra, from July 2013 to September 2013.

Sixty paramedical workers including nursing staff, ward boys and ayahs from medical and surgical intensive care units (ICUs) which included all the ICU staff were included in the study as they are more likely to come across critically-ill patients and therefore potential donor patients and their attendants. However two nurses refused to participate in the study. Institutional ethics committee clearance was obtained before the start of the study.

The nature of the study was explained to each participant and they were asked to answer a pre-tested semi structured questionnaire in Marathi, Hindi, and English since some of the nursing staff was non-Marathi.

The questionnaire included questions pertaining to the demographic profile, age, sex, religion, marital status, educational qualification, occupation of the paramedical staff as well as their awareness about eye donation, willingness to donate eyes and reasons for wishing to donate or not donate eyes.

  Results Top

Gender wise distribution of the staff showed 40 (67%) were females and 20 (33%) males. In age wise distribution majority of them i.e. 83% belonged to 20-30 years of age group, while 5% and 6% belonged to the age group of 31-40 years and 41-50 years respectively. Among the 60 respondents 47 (78%) were graduates or post-graduates, 04 (7%) had secondary education, and 09 (15%) had no formal or primary education [Table 1].
Table 1: Responses of the study subject on different aspects of eye donation (n = 60)

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  Discussion Top

Our study showed 83% (50/60) paramedical staff had the knowledge of eye donation which was high and similar to another study conducted in India among hospital staff, where 97% of them had good to excellent knowledge about transplantation of various human organs. [3] Similarly in a study conducted in Bangalore, India by Anita Gupta et al, 96.8% of the nursing students were aware that eyes can be donated after death. [4]

A large number of the staff, 38 (63%) out of 60 knew that the donated eye is used for corneal grafting and 80% knew that the ideal time for eye donation is within 6 hours of death, unlike the study conducted by Biswas J et al, where only 32.10% of the medical students knew that the ideal time for eye donation is within 6 hours of death. [5] This being quite low in comparison to our study. However in a study on medical and non-medical students conducted at New Delhi, India observed that 79.6% of medical students knew that eyes can be donated after death and 63.3% knew that it should be collected within 6 hours. [6] Thus the timing of eye donation is very important for optical purposes preventing underutilization of donated corneas.

In our study, the prime reason for donating eyes amongst majority, 32 (53%) out of 60 paramedical staff was giving sight to blind. In a study conducted in the Raichur district of Karnataka by Sameena Kokab et al, 48.50% paramedical staff wanted to donate eyes as a way to help the blind or for the noble cause and that by Gupta A et al 85.60% for nobility in the work and pleasure to help the blind by 77.50%. [7],[4] Thus proving that nobility in the act of eye donation was the main motivational force for eye donation.

In our study, 15% respondents believed that eye donation was against their religious beliefs and 27% respondents thought that it causes disfigurement of the face. Similarly other studies have shown concern among respondents like disfigurement of face of the deceased, fear that it is against their religious beliefs and may be time consuming thus delaying the funeral process. [8]

The willingness to donate eyes was found among large number, 46 (77%) out of 60 respondents and majority attributed different forms of mass media as the major source of awareness on eye donation. In a study among medical students, 87.8% of the respondents were willing to be eye donors [6] and other studies found publicity campaigns and the media to be a major source of information on this issue. [6],[9]

From our study a few observations regarding limitations to this noble cause were made like the subjects were not sure about whom to contact, the idea about concept of an eye bank, the entire process of collection of eye and their rights to give consent regarding the same following the death of a relative.

Thus there is a great need to increase awareness among the paramedical staff regarding eye donation, as they are the backbone of our health care system. Education of the paramedical staff regarding the preventive and curative aspects of corneal blindness can act as a major source for spreading awareness about eye donation among their family and friends thus acting as important motivators. A lot is being done at the national and state level with the help of prominent personalities in films and media becoming ambassadors for this noble cause. But still, the efforts need to be continued at level of individual hospitals. This can be done by conducting public awareness lectures during the eye donation week and putting up posters and charts regarding eye donation in ICU's and wards. We would like to suggest making the option of eye donation a part of the death certificate so that it gives a chance to every individual to contribute to the noble cause of eye donation irrespective of the fact whether they have pledged to donate their eyes or not.

  References Top

Congdon NG, Friedman DS & Lietman T. Important causes of visual impairment in the world today. JAMA 2003;290:2057-2060.  Back to cited text no. 1
Dandona R, Dandona L, Naduvilath TJ, McCarty CA, Rao GN. Awareness of eye donation in an urban population in India. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol 1999;27:166-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Singh P, Kumar A, Pandey CM, Chandra H. Level of awareness about transplantation, brain death and cadaveric organ donation in hospital staff in India. Prog Transplant 2002;12:289-92.  Back to cited text no. 3
Gupta A, Jain S, Jain T, Gupta K. Awareness and Perception Regarding Eye Donation in Students of a Nursing College in Bangalore. Indian Journal of Community Med 2009;34:122-5.   Back to cited text no. 4
Kalevar V. Eye banking in India [guest editorial]. Indian J Ophthalmol 1989;37:110-111.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Dhaliwal U. Enhancing eye donation rates. Training students to be motivators. Indian J Ophthalmol 2002;50:209-12.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Kokab S. Eye donation awareness among paramedical staff of different hospitals in Raichur district: A survey. JEMDS 2013.  Back to cited text no. 7
Mohan M. Survey of blindness-India (1986-1989): Summary Results. New Delhi: Programme for the control of blindness, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; 1992.  Back to cited text no. 8
Tandon R, Verma K, Vanathi M, Pandey RM, Vajpayee RB. Factors affecting eye donation from post-mortem cases in a tertiary care hospital. Cornea 2004;23:597-601.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
Indu Mohan, Rekha R S, Bindu Thampi, K Mahadevan
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