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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2002  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-212

Enhancing eye donation rates. Training students to be motivators


Department of Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences, GTB Hospital, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
U Dhaliwal
Department of Ophthalmology, University College of Medical Sciences, GTB Hospital, Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 12355696

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Purpose: Medical professionals could enhance eye donation rates by reminding relatives during grief counseling at the time of patient's death. This study was designed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of final year medical students (future doctors) towards eye donation, prior to instruction in eye banking. Methods: The responses of 49 final-year medical students to a questionnaire on eye donation were compared with 24 non-medical students (controls). The results were analysed statistically using the chi-square test. Results: More than one-third of students and controls were unaware that eyes are removed within six hours of death. Eight (16.3%) students and 6 (25.0%) controls felt that a close relative's eyes could be donated after death only if he had indicated willingness (P=0.05). Three (6.1%) students and 3 (12.5%) controls were undecided about donating their own eyes. Nineteen (38.8%) students and 6 (25%) controls did not know where to go in order to pledge/donate eyes. The controls had poorer knowledge of ocular and systemic contraindications, and they did not know that storage could be prolonged (P<0.001). Only 27 (55.1%) students had knowledge of corneal storage. Conclusions: Controls were poorly informed about various aspects of eye donation suggesting inadequate dissemination of information by the media. Students and controls alike had misconceptions regarding donation of relatives' eyes and hesitation regarding their own. These aspects should be emphasized during undergraduate teaching to dispel misgivings regarding wastage of donor eyes and to encourage future doctors to promote eye donation.


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