Eye bank

The Corneal Transplant Service Eye Bank in Bristol

The CTS Eye Bank issued its first corneas in March 1986 and has since grown into one of the largest eye banks in Europe, supplying 1,500 corneas per annum to hospitals throughout the UK.

Overall, more than 20,000 grafts have been carried out using corneas supplied from the Bristol eye bank, which was the first in the UK to introduce organ culture storage at 34°C. This innovation increased the storage time of corneas from just a few days at 4°C, to a month. Even with subsequent improvements, hypothermic storage still only allows corneas to be kept for 10-14 days. The advantages of organ culture, therefore, extended storage time, greater microbiological safety, better allocation of corneas for the most suitable recipients. Where there is also specific consent for research, tissue that is unsuitable for transplantation can be supplied for research into the causes and treatment of eye disease. Contact Professor John Armitage for further information

Organ donation

The Donor Card was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1971 as a Kidney only Donor Card. The Card was changed to a multi-organ Donor Card in 1981 for Kidneys, Eyes, Heart, Liver and Pancreas. Since the mid 1980s, the Department of Health has issued in excess of 11.5 million cards. In 1992 three independent surveys were carried out in an attempt to identify the usefulness of the card. Ninety-seven per cent of all those surveyed were aware of the Donor Card and its implications in organ donation and transplantation. However, the percentage of those surveyed who actually carried the Donor Card ranged from 18-30 per cent.

How to register for organ donation

You can register at the passport office, GP surgeries or online

Diseased eye needing corneal graft
Eye after corneal graft
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