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Eye Donation Project: Differences Between Donors Versus Refusers
Usanee Reinprayoon, MD, Nipaporn Maneerat, MD, Sunee Chansangpetch, MD, BPH, Somruk Suntibenchakul, MD, Jittapan Chureeganon, MD, Ngamjit Kasetsuwan, MD
Objective: To assess factors associated with the family members’ willingness to donate eyes of their deceased loved ones.
Methods: Relatives of 121 potential post-mortem eye donors were approached and interviewed by local eye bank coordinators working for Eye Donation Project in Thailand. Information was categorized into 3 parts according to: 1) general and socioeconomic status, 2) activity of daily living index (ADLI), medical conditions and causes of death, 3) reasons for donating eyes. Various factors were compared between those willing to donate (Yes group) versus those who refused (No group).
Results: From 121 cases, 27 (22.13%) came from the Yes group whereas 94 (77.68%) were from the No group. We found no difference of socioeconomic status and level of education between both groups. Marital status was statistically associated with donate rate by univariate analysis (P=0.043). Multivariate analysis showed significant relationship between ADLI and rate of eye donation (P=0.042). The reasons for donating were to obtain religious merit, fulfill the donors’ wishes, and provide recipients with an opportunity to gain back vision. As for those who refused to donate, the reasons were: beliefs in reincarnations, family conflicts for making the decision, and belief that a person’s body should remain intact to allow the spirit to rest in peace.
Conclusions: Socioeconomic status, level of education and medical conditions did not influence family’s decision in regards to eye donations. Success of an eye donation project is possible if there is a well-planned counseling offered by an experienced team to the potential donor family.
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