The SCOT through its specialized committees has laid down the criteria for establishment of corneal transplant centers in the Kingdom. They are as follows:
1.1 Working Staff:
1.1.1 Consultant corneal transplant surgeons: There should one consultant in corneal transplantation with good experience in performing corneal transplants and treating external eye diseases for at least one year from a recognized international corneal transplant center on the condition that he has done a large number of the operations himself with a certificate confirming that experience. Alternatively, he should have a certificate of experience of at least five years in corneal transplantation from a recognized center.
1.1.2 One consultant anesthesiologist with experience in anesthesia for eye surgery.
1.1.3 A full-time microbiologist.
1.1.4 An eye-bank technician with experience in preservation of corneas and evaluation of suitability of corneas for transplantation. Alternatively, the consultant corneal transplant surgeon could accept responsibility for performing this duty.
1.1.5 A corneal transplant coordinator with experience in coordination of corneal transplantation and preservation of corneas until the time of transplant.*
1.1.6 Nursing Staff: They must be highly experienced in taking care of patients during and after corneal transplantation.
*One qualified person can perform the duties of eye-bank technician and coordinator.
1.2 Technical facilities required:
1.2.1 Ophthalmology department fully equipped with:
220.127.116.11 Biomicroscope (slit lamp)
18.104.22.168 Visual acuity charts
22.214.171.124 Outpatient clinic that is fully equipped for examination of patients who have already undergone corneal transplantation as well as evaluating those who are potential candidates (should have special forceps, plates, specula, etc.).
1.2.2 The hospital should have fully equipped operating rooms (a surgical microscope, vitrectomy equipment, etc.,) for performing major eye operations.
Corneas will be distributed according to priority criteria laid down by the corneal transplant committee as follows:*
2.1 Priority 1: Patients with corneal perforation or who have a disease or a lesion in the anterior part of the eye needing urgent reparation.
2.2 Priority 2: Patients with only one functioning eye with loss of vision due to a corneal lesion.
2.3 Priority 3: Patients who are not included in any of the previous categories and who will be transplanted according to the duration on the waiting list.
2.4 Patients having priority 1 have the absolute priority at any time a cornea is available and a cornea is transplanted to such patients who are in the same region from where the cornea was harvested. If there is no patient with this priority level in the same region, the cornea can be transported to other regions according to the priority criteria.
2.5 If there is no patient with priority at any place in the kingdom, the cornea can be transported to any other GCC country to be transplanted according to its priority level.
*(Appendix 22: Investigations to be done for a potential recipient of corneal transplantation)
*If there is more than one patient under a particular category, patient selection will be based on his/her age.