The Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) missed the July 1 deadline set for opening of an eye bank on its campus. Now, it is expected to start functioning from August 15. “The opening of an eye bank is delayed because we do not have the required equipment for conducting the procedure of corneal transplant,” PMCH superintendent Dr Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told this newspaper on Sunday. “PMCH has procured equipment worth ₹5 lakh, but some more have to be bought by Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL). We are expecting from BMSICL to provide us the equipment in one month. That’s why senior officials of state health department at a review meeting on June 27 rescheduled the opening of eye bank to August 15,” he said.
Talking about the other facilities required for an eye bank, Dr Rajiv said, “The bank procures the eyes of voluntary donors after their death and transport and store them under aseptic conditions before transplanting the cornea to the needy patients to enable them regain vision. A brain death declaration committee has been formed as the state health department has made brain death declarations mandatory. This committee comprises an eye surgeon, a general surgeon, an anesthesiologist and a physician.” He said the PMCH would form a mobile unit to retrieve organ for storage and implantation.
“We are ready with a team of three doctors for corneal extraction from the brain-dead patient. We have also made arrangements for round-the-clock ambulance facility in the hospital to help doctors reach the donor to extract cornea within six hours of the death, as cornea is of no use if extracted after first six hours of death,” he explained. At present, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) is the only government hospital in the state with an eye bank. – TOI