Background There is a global shortage of donated eye tissue for use in sight saving and sight restoring operations such as corneal transplantation (Madi-Segwagwe B C, Bracher M, Myall M, et al., 2021). Patients who die in palliative and hospice care settings could potentially donate eye tissue, however, the option of eye donation is not routinely raised in end-of-life planning discussions as health care providers (HCP) are very reluctant to discuss eye donation as they perceive it as something that will distress patients and family members.
Aim This presentation shares findings regarding the views of patients and carers, including: their feelings and thoughts about the option of eye donation being raised with them, who they think should raise this issue, when this option should be discussed and who should be included in the discussion. Findings are drawn from the NIHR funded national study: Eye Donation from Palliative and Hospice care contexts: investigating Potential, Practice, Preference and Perceptions taking place in three palliative care and three hospice care settings across England (EDiPPPP) and the global literature.
Conclusion In view of data from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB, 2016) reporting that over two million people in the UK are living with sight loss and their prediction that this figure will double to nearly four million by 2050 it is imperative that anyone who could be, and would want to donate the gift of sight, is offered the opportunity to do so, especially as they approach their end of life.
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