Table of Contents
Eye Banking in the 21st Century: How Far Have We Come? Are We Prepared for What’s Ahead?
Donald J. Doughman, MD, Cindy Christian Rogers, MA
corneal endothelium, corneal preservation, corneal transplantation, eye banks, eye donation, healthcare economic
PURPOSE: This review of milestones in eye banking describes efforts by the eye banking community to ensure the quality and quantity of corneal tissue over the last century and anticipates key challenges going forward.
METHODS: This account draws on a review of the scientific literature, public documents, and eye banking statistics and is augmented by the recollection of the author, discussions with eye bankers, and an analysis of pressing medical and nonmedical issues that will bear on the future success of eye banking in the United States and internationally.
RESULTS: The author identifies five eras of eye banking, highlighting scientific breakthroughs in surgical techniques, storage, and instrumentation; the professionalization of eye banks through development of medical standards and accreditation programs; and the advent of laws and regulations leading to reimbursement changes and donor legislation. The author next identifies five strengths exhibited by the community to achieve those milestones and delineates crucial questions posed by an ever-expanding array of unprecedented demographic, socioeconomic, geopolitical, biological, regulatory, technological, cultural, and ethical challenges.
CONCLUSIONS: Technological advances and collaborative efforts have brought the eye banking community to the enviable position it enjoys today. Only by building on its historical strengths can eye banking professionals worldwide successfully evolve their role in an increasingly complex future.
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