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    Impact of COVID-19 on Eye Banking and Keratoplasty

    AAO 2021
    Cornea/External Disease

    In this interview from AAO 2021, Dr. Jennifer Li describes how eye banking guidelines and corneal tissue donation have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the Eye Bank Association of America medical advisory board has met regularly to create guidelines to ensure quality and safety of corneal donor tissue, evolving as information about the disease matured. Based on the most recent guidelines from June 2021, accredited eye banks evaluate potential donors for underlying health issues, COVID-19 exposure and status, and vaccination status. Despite a 20% decrease in donated corneal tissue in the United States, Dr. Li notes that the rates of keratoplasty and tissue availability have not been negatively affected. But because the United States also provides tissue to patients overseas, this drop in corneal tissue has likely impacted international corneal surgeons and their patients.