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Darren S. Ting, Judith Potts, Mark Jones, Tracy Lawther, Francisco Figueiredo; A Review Of The North East England Eye Retrieval Service. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):1438.
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Face-to-face (FF) interview to obtain family consent for eye donation is not often possible. To overcome this problem, the North England Eye Retrieval Service (NEEERS), part of the National Eye Retrieval Scheme of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), introduced telephone consent (TC) for eye donation in Jan 2007. The purpose of this review is to analyze the impact of TC on the rates and processes for eye retrieval in the NEEERS.
Data pertaining to eye donation, retrieval, processing and suitability for corneal transplantation were retrospectively collected from the local electronic Eye Retrieval and NHSBT Databases for a 12-month period (i.e. Jan-Dec) in 2010. Corresponding data was collected from Jan-Dec 2006 for comparison.
From 2006 to 2010, the total number of eyes retrieved significantly increased from 98 to 316 eyes, yielding an increase in rate of 223.5%. The suitability of retrieved eyes for transplantation was 54.1% in 2006 and increased to 70.6% in 2010 (p=0.002). 2479 deaths were identified in 2006; 70 (2.8%) were confirmed suitable for donation after assessment of medical records; of which 32 (45.7%) donated the eyes after FF consent. The remaining donors were excluded due to medical contraindications or the coordinators were unable to meet the relatives. The proportion of confirmed suitable donors in 2010 increased significantly to 223 out of 2213 deaths (10.1%, p<0.001). FF consent was obtained from 149 donors in 2010, with a success rate of 40.3% (n=60), whereas TC was obtained from 74 donors with a success rate of 68.9% (n=51, p<0.001). There was a significant difference in time interval from referral to consent (1.90 ± 1.59 hours in 2006 and 4.09 ± 2.96 hours in 2010, p<0.001), consent to retrieval (6.26 ± 7.13 hours in 2006 and 1.97 ± 2.81 hours in 2010, p=0.009) and retrieval to collection of eyes (2.80 ± 1.08 hours and 3.76 ± 1.70 hours respectively p=0.003) between the 2 study periods.
There has been a significant increase in eye donation in the NEEERS over the past 5 years with the introduction of TC. Therefore, TC is a very effective method for obtaining consent for eye donation. This review of the NEEERS also identified potential areas for service improvement (e.g. faster donor referral, consenting, retrieval and processing in the eye banks), that would potentially contribute to an increase in eye donation and an improvement in the quality of corneas for transplantation.
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