Baton Rouge Regional Eye Bank  

(225) 766-8996
Fax:(225) 765-4366

7777 Hennessy Blvd, Suite 1005
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808

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About the Eye Bank

About Eyes, Vision, and Sight

Parts of the Human Eye
Parts of the Eye

Although the eye is a small structure, it is extremely complex and contains an immense network of nerves, blood vessels, cells and specialized tissues.
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The Mechanics of Sight

The mechanics of sight are complex and research has provided a great deal of information about the visual system. Such information is valuable, not only for understanding how the eyes function in health, but also for studying certain disease processes.
> Read More about The Mechanics of Sight

Eye Disorders

Diseases of the eye can cause visual disability ranging from minor impairments to total blindness. Some forms of visual disability can be prevented through prompt attention and others may be cured. Unfortunately, there are other eye conditions that cannot be prevented or treated.
> Read More about Eye Disorders

A History of Corneal Donation and Transplant

Attempts to transplant an animal cornea to a human recipient were first made in Germany in the 1800's but failed due to tissue rejection. Finally, an Austrian doctor performed the first successful full-thickness corneal transplant in 1905 after obtaining tissue from an 11-year-old donor.

Corneal transplants were infrequently performed until the early 1940's primarily because no donor program existed and tissue was very rarely available. Dr. R. Townley Paton, then president of the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City, was a prominent surgeon who was determined to obtain needed tissue for his patients. Each time a prisoner at Sing Sing was executed, Dr. Paton drove forty miles to recover the cornea. During this time, prisoner donation was the only source of donor eye tissue.

To improve on this cumbersome arrangement and to increase tissue availability, Dr. Paton and a group of associates formed the first eye bank in 1944. New laws governing the donation of eye tissue had to be enacted and the public desperately needed education.

During World War II, blindness increased due to war trauma and disease. As corneal transplant surgery became more successful, the need for eye tissue for transplant multiplied. Eye banks began to spring up in other parts of the country to meet the need. Today, approximately 68,000 transplants are performed each year and research and education has increased tremendously.

"There is no lovelier way to thank God for your sight than to give a helping hand to those in darkness."- Helen Keller

 
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