Lisa Buckland describes the work of the Lions Eye Bank
Lisa Buckland, Manager of the Lions Eye Bank in Perth, gave a very interesting account of how corneal transplants are dealt with. Amazingly there have been 5000 transplants in WA to date, and this has been facilitated by the fact that there is no blood involved in such transplants and that they are naturally fast healing. The Eye Bank was started in 1986 by the Lions Eye Institute and is a fully-fledged, licensed facility which is subject to stringent regulation. The criteria for eye and tissue donations are much less stringent than those that apply to organ donations, largely because of the lack of blood in the former. Happily, the cost of tissue transplants is fully covered by the Government or by Health Funds depending on the status of the patient. Lisa explained that there are five layers to the cornea, and these days the techniques are sophisticated enough to allow individual intervention on any of the layers depending on the problem. Australia is in a very good position to assist overseas countries.