With medical advancements of gargantuan proportions, restoration of life has been made possible by the process of organ, eye and tissue donation. Even after countless advancement, over 100,000 people in the USA still await an organ or tissue transplant.
It is of paramount importance to be fully knowledgeable about the fundamentals and importance of organ and tissue transplant. Here, we talk about the ins and outs of tissue donation and its majorly common segment, cornea donation.
Tissue donation is far different from organ donation as it does not require the same conditions as organs to survive, i.e. it is possible to perform the surgery after the heart and lungs of the donor have stopped. Before understanding the process and applications of tissue donation, it is essential to throw some light on the types of tissues that can be donated.
Types of Tissues
Applications of Tissue Donation
In order for a tissue transplant to be performed, the potential donor has to have given a legally recognized consent for the donation. The procedure begins with the tissue recovery organization receiving a confirmation of a recent death from a hospital or funeral home, and then, the state donor registry is accessed and the family of the deceased is contacted. If no record is found in the registry, the legally authorized representative of the deceased is offered to authorize the donation. Tissue donation must be initiated within 24 hours of death. The donated tissue can be stored for a long period of time for use in burnt skin or torn ligaments.
One of the most remarkable achievements of medical science is sight restoration through a cornea transplant. The cornea is the transparent dome-like front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber, and accounts for two-thirds of the optical power. When the entire cornea is removed, it is known as penetrating keratoplasty, and when only a part of the cornea is removed, it is known as lamellar keratoplasty.
Every person, regardless of his/her blood type, is a universal cornea donor except for instances where the donor is suffering from infections. Since 1961, more than 1,500,000 people have witnessed miraculous sight restoration through cornea transplants.
Reasons for Cornea Donation
Corneal transplantation helps in the restoration of sight for people suffering from vision loss which can be caused by the following factors:
Development in Corneal Transplantation