High volume of transplants
At Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, more than 100 cornea transplantations are performed annually for patients and approximately 40 corneas are used in other types of operations (such as glaucoma treatment). The Cornea Bank is involved in the donation, collection, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, and distribution of human ocular tissues for corneal transplantation, ocular surgery, research, and medical education.
Quality that complies with global standards
Cornea Bank services are regulated by the Israeli Ministry of Health, following good practice procedures stipulated by international quality and safety standards organizations.
The procedures for acquisition of donations, tissue sampling, and deposit of donor tissue into the cornea bank are strictly controlled and documented. Cornea Bank activities are directed to minimize the risk of contamination, supply high quality corneas in the shortest time possible, and ensure successful corneal transplantation.
Cornea Bank activities are performed by the scientist in charge and include:
- Identification of potential cornea donors (of any age) as well as procurement of high quality corneas from other Israeli and US eye banks to maintain available stock.
- If no contraindications are found to cornea donation, the donor's family is contacted to seek consent for cornea donation.
- If no medical contraindications are found (such as donor medical status), after consent is given, the scientist in charge of the Cornea Bank proceeds to harvest the corneas.
- The corneas are placed for preservation in individual sterile containers in storage solution and deposited in the Cornea Bank.
- The scientist is responsible for the entire process, including:
- A final serological analysis – to evaluate for conditions such as viral hepatitis, HIV, or syphilis, which would disqualify a donation.
- Bacteriological and morphological analyses of the endothelial tissue (using slit lamp and specular microscopy) to determine the cornea quality.
- Reserving high-quality corneas for transplantation and retaining the others for glaucoma surgery.
- Maintaining databases of available corneas and their characteristics, and managing the patient waiting list for cornea transplantation.
- Maintaining the databases to match corneas with patients