15 November 2016 : Original article
Ann Transplant 2016; 21:701-707
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate factors limiting corneal donation at the University Hospital Tübingen.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied all hospital deaths from January 2012 to December 2015, considering each deceased patient as a potential corneal donor. During this period an ophthalmic resident managed corneal donor procurement on a full-time basis. Various factors limiting corneal donation were examined.
RESULTS: Among the 3412 deaths, 2937 (86.1%) displayed nonfulfillment of corneal donation. Consent for corneal donation was obtained in 475 cases (13.9%). The mean annual corneal donation rate was 13.9 donors per 100 deaths (range: 11.2–17.8). The leading causes of nonfulfillment of corneal donations were refusal to donate (49.8%, 1698 cases) and medical contraindications (23.6%, 805 cases). After next-of-kin interview of 2173 potential donors (109 potential donors were excluded because of logistical problems), willingness to participate in corneal donation was present in 475 cases (21.9%), whereas in 1698 cases (78.1%) corneal donation was refused.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed refusal to donate is the most important factor limiting corneal donation. It seems that increasing the knowledge of people about corneal donation through public education and media are necessary to address the corneal shortage.
Keywords: Cornea, Corneal Transplantation, Tissue and Organ Procurement, Tissue Donors
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