Since it was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, the Eye Bank Association of America has used the month of November as an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of registering to be a donor, about cornea donation and transplantation, and to acknowledge the important work of eye banks.
Cornea transplantation has a transformative effect on the lives of recipients and their families. Recipients, who are often legally blind before surgery, are able to return to work, care for themselves and their families, watch their children grow and fully engage in life because of sight-restoring corneal transplants.
In 2017, more than 84,000 corneal transplants were performed with a success rate of more than 95 percent, providing $6 billion in lifetime economic benefit for the recipients. EBAA members serve all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, and other locations around the world. There are six eye banks in Ohio that recover and provide transplantable tissue to Ohio’s citizens.
Eye, organ and tissue donor registration can be done via RegisterMe.org, Donate Life Ohio or through the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles. It is also important for prospective donors to notify family of their decision in order to facilitate medical and social histories required for transplantation.