How scarce are corneas donated by Yao Beina?

The death of singer Yao Beina is sad. Apart from her touching singing, she left another precious treasure-her cornea.

The cornea located at the front end of the eyeball is round and transparent, similar in shape to our contact lenses. Blindness caused by corneal problems is [corneal blindness], which is the blinding eye disease second only to cataract in our country. Moreover, the vast majority of these patients are children under 9 years old and young adults aged 40-60.

[Corneal blindness] The only way to restore vision for patients is corneal transplantation, which is currently the most commonly performed organ transplantation (such as heart and lung transplantation, kidney transplantation and other operations) with the highest success rate, and is one of the most important restoration operations in ophthalmology.

Insufficient corneal source

Cornea is absolutely a scarce resource in China. There are about 4 million patients who are blind due to corneal diseases in our country. Their chances of receiving corneal transplantation are very slim-and this is their only hope for recovery. Due to insufficient sources of donor corneas, only 4,000-5,000 corneal transplantation operations are performed in our country every year.

In addition, 100,000 new patients blindness due to corneal diseases are added each year, and it will take hundreds of years to complete these operations.

In other countries, the situation is different. According to the 2010 annual report of the American Eye Bank Association, a total of 110,630 corneas were donated to all eye bank organizations in the United States in 2010.

The donor cornea used for corneal transplantation mainly comes from other people’s corneal donation. The dilemma of corneal donation in China is mainly related to many factors such as traditional culture, concept consciousness, law, etc. Take Shenzhen as an example, with a population of 10 million, Yao Beina is the 694th donor for so many years.

Can I donate corneas?

Only when you and I join the corneal donation team can we open a window to the world for those in need.

In general, people aged 3-60 with healthy corneas are suitable corneal donors. Eye bank professionals will decide whether to use it for transplantation or scientific research according to the actual situation.

However, according to the < < Eye Bank Management > > issued by the Ministry of Health of our country, in principle, the corneas of the following donors cannot be used for transplantation:

1. Some infectious diseases such as AIDS, syphilis, rabies, etc., of which hepatitis B is also listed;

2. Malignant tumors have invaded eyes and blood system diseases such as leukemia;

3. Conjunctivitis, scleritis, uveitis, retinitis and other eye diseases that affect the surgical results.

There are other situations, please also consult the staff of the eye bank.

How many people can use a person’s cornea?

Yao Beina’s cornea was donated to two patients. Her corneal transplant doctor Yao Xiaoming transplanted her cornea to six patients according to her mother’s wishes ten years ago after her mother died.

If the doctor’s plan is reasonable, one cornea can be transplanted to multiple patients.

Although the cornea is so thin, it can be divided into five layers from the front to the back. Therefore, according to needs, for the donor’s cornea, the whole layer can be transplanted together, or only a few of the structures can be transplanted.

In addition, according to the location of the patient’s keratopathy, if it is in the center, only the central part will be exchanged. If it is located at the edge of the cornea, it is OK to exchange for the cornea with marginal lesions.

In other words, the corresponding part of the donor cornea can be selected according to the required corneal part.

How can I donate cornea?

Volunteers who are willing to donate corneas can consult with the ophthalmology departments of local ophthalmology hospitals or general hospitals, such as Beijing Tongren Hospital, Fudan University Affiliated Eye, Otolaryngology Hospital, Zhongshan Ophthalmology Center of Sun Yat-sen University, etc. In addition, Red Cross organizations around the country also accept the consultation and donation of volunteers.

Eye Bank is a non-profit organization that provides effective corneal eyes for corneal transplantation, teaching and scientific research. Its task is to collect, preserve and study corneal materials and other eye tissues, and to provide corneal materials in a timely and reasonable manner for corneal transplantation.

The usual steps are as follows:

1. First of all, an oral application must be submitted to the Eye Bank;

2. After the eye bank staff communicated with the applicant, they confirmed their true wishes and their families knew and agreed.

3. The applicant shall sign the donation application form;

4. Face up to becoming an eye bank volunteer;

5. When the volunteers are in danger, they or their clients contact the eye bank;

6. The staff of the eye bank went to the scene to obtain cornea and related medical data and complete corneal donation.

Editor: Fei Fei

Author: Xu Ye

This article is exclusively authorized by the author to be used by Clove Garden and refuses any other form of reprinting.