Purpose. This review of milestones and challenges in eye banking describes efforts made by dedicated eye bankers to ensure the quality and quantity of corneal tissue for corneal blind patients over the last 25 years.
Methods. This account is the result of the recollection of the author, discussions with eye bankers, and a review of the literature, public documents, and Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) records.
Results. A measure of the success of eye banking is the fact that corneal transplant surgery is now scheduled as an elective procedure. Corneal tissue has also enjoyed a stellar safety record. This is due in part to the establishment of comprehensive medical standards by the EBAA, the accreditation of eye banks, and the training and certification of eye bank technicians.
Conclusion. Advancements in eye banking over the last 25 years have improved the quality of life of several hundred thousand corneal blind persons in this country. More efforts must be made in the future to eliminate corneal blindness internationally.