LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OneLegacy announced today that it has entered into an agreement to be the ocular tissue provider for St. Joseph’s Health System in Southern California. OneLegacy is home to the only nonprofit organ procurement organization and eye bank in Los Angeles and Orange counties that recovers, evaluates, processes and distributes ocular tissue for transplantation and research.
“A donated cornea can be used to replace a cornea that has been injured or diseased and tissue donation makes corneal blindness a highly treatable condition,” said Prasad Garimella, chief operating officer of OneLegacy and executive director of the OneLegacy Eye Bank. “The priceless gift of corneal donation from one person to another is a beautiful way to honor a donor, and we look forward to working with the St. Joseph’s Health System in bringing the gift of sight to many more people throughout Southern California.”
The OneLegacy Eye Bank is staffed by highly trained technicians who surgically retrieve the cornea and bring it to the eye bank where the tissue is carefully evaluated to ensure its optimal quality. It is then distributed to a corneal surgeon who transplants this tissue into his or her patient as soon as possible, typically two to five days following donation.
A corneal transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a portion of an impaired cornea (brought on by disease, injury, infection or any other causes) with a healthy donor cornea. Since 1961 more than 1.5 million people worldwide have had their sight restored through this procedure, and each year U.S. eye banks provide tissue for an average of over 70,000 corneal transplants. Over 95 percent of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision, according to the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA).
“Millions of people around the world struggle to live with corneal blindness, but that need not be the case,” says Garimella. “The great thing about corneal tissue is that everyone is a universal donor. Your blood type does not have to match, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, what color your eyes are, or how good your eyesight is. Aside from those suffering from infections or a few highly communicable diseases such as HIV or hepatitis, most people are suitable donors.”
The OneLegacy Eye Bank is accredited by the EBAA and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Although its focus is primarily to provide quality ocular tissue to the Southern California community, OneLegacy has helped cure corneal blindness in over 25 countries worldwide.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at 800-786-4077, or visit onelegacy.org.