An Eye to New Corneal Transplants
By Tracey Hutton
The quality of life for visually impaired South Australians have been boosted, thanks to new technology donated to the Eye Bank of South Australia, based at Flinders Medical Centre.
A $36,000 Specular Microscope – which quickly and effectively assesses the quality of corneas for potential transplantation – has been donated by The City of Adelaide Lions Club and donations made through the FMC Foundation.
“The new microscope has already made an enormous difference in providing the best quality ocular (eye) tissue for visually impaired South Australians, and we are very grateful for this state-of-the-art equipment,” said Manager of the Eye Bank, Stephen Pulbrook.
The microscope allows Eye Bank staff to look at the endothelial cells of cornea in great detail to assess their quality to determine if they are viable for transplantation. The endothelium is the extremely thin, innermost layer of the cornea. Endothelial cells are essential in keeping the cornea clear.
Since it was established 30 years ago, the Eye Bank has collected more than 5,000 corneas, which has helped to improve the quality of life for the thousands of South Australians who have received corneal transplants.
The Lions Club has had a long association with the Eye Bank of South Australia.
President of the Lions Club, Tony Pederick OAM, said the Specular Microscope was the third major piece of equipment donated to the Eye Bank by The City of Adelaide Lions Club.
“The Eye Bank was originally established in 1982 using funds raised by lions clubs from across South Australia and SA Lions Clubs have donated around $2 million towards the service since then,” he said.
“To this day the Lions Club has remained the biggest contributor to the Eye Bank and for this, we are very grateful,” said Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Chief Executive Officer Belinda Moyes.
(as published in the Southern Health News (SHN) publication)