Indian Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 452--453

Redefined role of eye bank counselors during COVID-19 pandemic

Ritu Arora1, Ruchi Goel1, Vikas Malhotra2, Suresh Kumar3,  
1 Department of Ophthalmology (Guru Nanak Eye Centre), Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of ENT, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ruchi Goel
Department of Ophthalmology, Guru Nanak Eye Centre, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi - 110 002

How to cite this article:
Arora R, Goel R, Malhotra V, Kumar S. Redefined role of eye bank counselors during COVID-19 pandemic.Indian J Ophthalmol 2021;69:452-453

How to cite this URL:
Arora R, Goel R, Malhotra V, Kumar S. Redefined role of eye bank counselors during COVID-19 pandemic. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 11 ];69:452-453
Available from:

Full Text

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 pandemic has rampaged unabated, eluding all therapeutic options. Given the lack of effective treatment or vaccines, convalescent plasma (CP) has emerged as a viable intervention.[1],[2]

Lok Nayak hospital (LNH), New Delhi, a 2000 bedded hospital became a dedicated COVID-19 facility on March 18, 2020, and on July 14, 2020 plasma bank was established to cater exclusively to the hospital inpatients. With fewer donors coming forward, need was felt for a dedicated counseling for CP donation.[3]

The Hospital Cornea Retrieval Programme being rendered temporarily nonfunctional, the three eye bank counselors were deployed in plasma bank. COVID-19 recovered patients discharged from the LNH were contacted and counseled telephonically as per Government of India guidelines.[4]

To evaluate the impact of this arrangement on the number of plasma donations, a retrospective analysis of hospital records from March 18, 2020 to August 31, 2020 in LNH was undertaken [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

Counseling, irrespective of the educational status, resulted in 82.60% of CP donations (57 following counseling + 12 self-motivated) at LNH without any monetary incentive. The success rates for eye donation following counseling as per an Indian study ranges between 30 and 40%.[5] For plasma donation, the success rate of 32% was achieved following counselling (91 + 58 cases of the 460 eligible donors counseled). Lower figures could be attributed to the newer arena for eye bank counselors and an early evaluation. Continuation of their services is likely to improve the results.

Individualized counseling allays the fear of reinfection/weakness and conveys the altruism associated with CP donation. Empathetic behavior of hospital staff and counseling of potential donors at the time of discharge can increase these numbers.

To conclude, a need-based, judicious repurposing of counsellors from eye bank to plasma bank resulted in saving many lives at our setup and can be used as a model in other hospital settings.


We are grateful to Mr Rakesh Verma, Mr Shailendra Kumar Tripathi, and Ms Pratibha Dhiman for counseling of recovered COVID-19 cases for plasma donation. We would also like to acknowledge the help of Mr Ajeet Singh in compilation of hospital data.

Financial support and sponsorship

The salaries of all the eye bank counsellors were sponsored by Jiv Daya Foundation, Texas USA, a nonprofit organization.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Rojas M, Monsalve DM, Pacheco Y, Acosta-Ampudia Y, Ramírez-Santana C, Ansari AA. Ebola virus disease: An emerging and re-emerging viral threat. J Autoimmun 2020;106:102375.
2Available from: 020.pdf. [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 25].
3COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma GNCTD. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 25].
4Plasma banks struggle to find donors to fight COVID. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Sep 25].
5Acharya M, Farooqui JH, Dave A, Chaku D, Ganguly KK, Das A, et al. Eye donation in north India: Trends, awareness, influences and barriers. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:1570-4.