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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 706-708

Impact of nationwide COVID-19 lockdown on keratoplasty and eye banking in India: A survey of cornea surgeons and eye banks

1 Cornea and Anterior Segment Service, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Vijayawada, India
2 Cornea and Anterior Segment Services, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Cornea and Anterior Segment Service, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Visakhapatnam, India
4 Cornea and Anterior Segment Service, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sujata Das
Cornea and Anterior Segment Service, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar - 751 024, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2476_20

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on keratoplasty and Eye Banking in India. Methods: An e-mail survey was conducted among cornea surgeons and eye bankers of India. Participants were asked to report their practice patterns for the management of corneal perforation during lockdown, different preservative media used during and before lockdown, and waiting time and waiting time before COVID-19 lockdown. Results: Eight of 20 eye banks did not collect corneal tissue during April–June 2020; in contrast, 9 eye banks used to collect around 100 corneas per month during pre-COVID-19 time. Two-third of the surgeons (66.1%, n = 41/62) did not perform any corneal tissue transplant between April and June 2020. Cyanoacrylate tissue adhesive application was the most commonly, performed procedure (79%, n = 49/62) for tectonic purpose during this period. Glycerol was the most preferred alternative preservation method considered by both the groups. More than half of the surgeons (64.5%, n = 40/62) had an average waiting time of <1 week for scheduling patients for keratoplasty in pre-COVID-19 period. Conclusion: There is was a significant drop in both corneal tissue retrieval and utilization during during COVID-19 lockdown. There was a felt need for an alternate long term storage media.

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