The East Anglian Eye Bank facilitates the identification, screening, consent,eye retrieval and preparation of human donated eyes for both transplantation and research.
The East Anglian Eye Bank (EAEB) is situated in the Nelson Day Unit and provides an Eye Donor Retrieval Service for Norfolk and North Suffolk Areas. The manager is Mary Tottman, and the director is Mr Chris Illingworth .
Our day to day work focuses mainly on the identification, screening, consent, eye retrieval and preparation of human donated eyes for both transplantation and research, at both the Norfolk and Norwich and James Paget Hospitals. All deaths referred to us are considered; we approach any suitable deceased person’s family, offering them the opportunity of donating not only eyes but, if appropriate, skin, bone and heart valves. The majority of families approached by us for donation agree to help. The number of persons suitable to donate is restricted by the requirements of the Human Tissue Act 2004, UK Transplant and the National Blood Service Guide Lines.
The Cornea is the clear, highly sensitive window at the front of the eye through which light passes that enables us to see. Any severe damage, disease, distortion, or degeneration to this structure may result in very poor vision requiring a human corneal transplant to restore sight. Cornea donations nationally are in short supply.
All locally donated corneas are surgically prepared for transplant by the East Anglian Eye Bank in Norwich, and sent in Optisol Solution Chambers to the Corneal Transplant Service Centres at Bristol or Manchester for checking, culture and issue to eye surgeons throughout the UK. With specific consent from the donor’s family, any remaining eye tissue not suitable for transplant is passed to the University of East Anglia Eye Research Group for research into human eye disease.
Eye Bank Retrieval Team
The Eye Bank retrieval team undergo extensive training both locally and nationally. They can be contacted 24/7 via the Norfolk and Norwich university Hospital Switchboard. 01603 286286.
To be considered for eye donation, please join the NHS Organ Donor Register by telephoning 0845 60 60 400 or go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk. Alternatively you may pick up a leaflet at your medical centre or local hospital.