Berhampur, August 23 (LocalWire): Even though the family members of people who died recently in the Silk City have shown interest to donate their eyes, the cornea transplantation unit in the Ophthalmology Department of MKCG Medical College and Hospital here has taken a hit in the past five months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Before the outbreak of the pandemic, the department used to conduct on an average seven cornea transplantations every month.
The transplantation however is at a halt since March following the outbreak of the Covid-19, said Suchitra Dash, Head of Department of Ophthalmology.
It has forced many without sight to anxiously wait for cornea transplantation.
While around 150 patients were in queue for the transplantation till the end of March, their number might have gone up to over 250 at present, said an ophthalmologist.
The eye donation activities in and around Silk City, which were carried out by the campaigners in association with the eye surgeons of the medical college have also stopped since then.
This, despite the family members of the deceased having shown interest to donate.
The sons of an 85-year old man in Berhampur could not fulfill his eye donation pledge made about five years ago, as the doctors did not show interest, even though he died in a heart-attack.
“The family members of at least a dozen deceased had wished to donate the eyes of the dead persons, but it was not possible to harvest them, as the eye surgeons, who were worried about their COVID-19 status, discouraged it,” said J. Suresh, an eye donation activist.
The eye bank in the medical college which harvests, on an average, 10 corneas every month has ceased operations for the last few months, sources said.
‘We don’t want to take risks collecting corneas of the deceased without knowing his/her COVID status.
Moreover, it would not be able to be transplanted to the patient immediately due to shut of the operation theater,” said Dash.