Moorfields Eye Hospital has launched a campaign to boost the numbers of eye donors.
Launched on Monday (29 June), the Yes Eye Can campaign is a drive to increase the number of those willing to donate eye tissue following their death, which could be used to help patients in need of a corneal transplant.
Moorfields carried out 840 corneal transplants in 2014, but a drop in donor numbers could hamper further efforts as the hospital increasingly has to source tissue from outside of its own tissue store, the Moorfields Lions Eye Bank.
Donor numbers dropped by a quarter last year, which is thought to be due to more people dying in their homes, making it more difficult to collect, prepare and store the tissue within the key 24-hour period following death.
A live web chat was held today (1 July) from 1–2pm with manager of the Moorfields Lions Eye Bank, Khilan Shah, and the eye bank’s clinical lead, corneal surgeon Romesh Angunawela.
Mr Angunawela said: “It is becoming more difficult to cope with the demand for corneal transplants and other sight-saving surgery at a time when our own eye bank stocks are diminishing – and accessing outside sources is becoming increasingly costly.”
He added: “We need to make a mark in the public’s consciousness now, and urgently, so that more people come forward as donors and we hope our campaign will do this for us.”
The campaign runs until Friday, 3 July and will drive awareness and provide guidance and advice for anyone considering whether to become a donor.
For more information, visit Moorfields Eye Hospital website.