As cornea transplantations are considered to be elective during the corona crisis the waiting list of patients has more than doubled, not only in the Netherlands. While only urgent cases, like (impeding) perforations and bullous keratopathies are currently being treated, safe approaches for testing donors and recipients need to be established in order to reduce the growing backlog of other cases, like the Fuchs endothelial dystrophy (FED). There are ways to resume DMEK and other “elective” corneal transplantation techniques. Learn more about the Dutch approach from the head of ETB-BISLIFE cornea bank:
Compared to the situation in the U.S.A. and Italy where corneal transplantation dropped down to 5-10% of the normal volume, Germany is still performing at about 50%. But it also means that 50% of the transplants are lost due to limited storage time, bringing up the same ethic discussion as in the U.S. and Italy on how we can justify a waste of grafts to donors and their families?
The waste is even less reasonable considering the fact that hospitals in Germany are not overloaded and donors and their environments are thoroughly screened for COVID-19, disqualifying all suspicious donors. As there is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through the transplantation of tissue and tests are not validated for post-mortem donors, all precautionary measures are in effect.
But the limiting factor are not rejected donor tissues due to screening or other precautionary measures - it is rather the imposed reduction of elective surgeries. Some of the patients in need of a corneal transplant might be elective now but they “will become urgent cases in a few weeks or months” as Martin Börgel (DGFG) said. This will increase waiting times for patients and organizational efforts throughout summer and fall.
This is the third interview of a cornea bank interview series which we conducted in collaboration with CAKE magazine.
Almost 90% of all corneal transplants were cancelled or postponed worldwide. Patients and waiting times for surgeries are piling up, while many donor grafts are wasted, because they cannot be stored for much longer than a month. The precautionary measures taken are vital, but better solutions to solve the shortage of supply and treatment need to be addressed soon. Studies assess the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission through tears differently, but screening donors and recipients for COVID-19 should give enough certainty to perform cornea tranplant surgeries at a required level again.
The interview with Dr. Ponzin, Medical Director of the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation in Venice, Italy, gives us the insight of an expert in the specific Italian situation, where these procedures almost came to a halt.
This is the second interview of a cornea bank interview series which we conducted in collaboration with CAKE magazine.
Monty Montoya, CEO of CorneaGen (U.S.A.), the largest supplier of corneal tissue in the world, talks about the impact of COVID-19 on cornea transplants in the U.S. It is the first interview of a cornea bank interview series conducted by GEUDER and CAKE magazine.
After the WHO, CDC, FDA, GAEBA and EEBA have sent out precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 we were curious about the impact it had on cornea transplants. First because cornea transplants can restore the sight of blind patients, which is invaluable, and second because DMEK instruments and techniques are one of GEUDER’s specialties. So we wanted to learn from leading experts of eye banking what effect the crisis has on keratoplasty surgeries now and in the near future.
In the following video Mr. Montoya shares his insights on
- Harvesting and deliveries of human corneas and DMEK grafts
- Testing donors and recipients of corneal grafts for COVID-19
- The shortage of supply and waiting times for corneal transplantations
- Changing the cell culture medium to overcome the COVID-19 threat in the future
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic most eye surgeries were and will be postponed or cancelled. In many places, entire medical departments were closed in order to increase capacities for COVID-19 patients and to save medical resources.
The current low utilization of ophthalmic surgical facilities offers the opportunity to check the condition of your instruments and optimize them through maintenance and repair. Our competent sales staff as well as our highly qualified and experienced microsurgery mechanics will be happy to assist you.
For further information please visit www.geuder.de/en/service-support/repairs , call your sales representative or our repair department +49 6221 306-798
A dislocated IOL is a challenging situation for the surgeon. The repositioning needs to be long lasting with a good visual outcome for the patient and as atraumatic as possible. In this video Prof. Hattenbach (Ludwigshafen, Germany) performs a modified transscleral technique where the sutures are tied and haptics are fixated inside the anterior chamber (AC).
His bimanual intraocular micro suture technique is precise and less traumatic than other closed-eye procedures. Two small 21G paracenteses reduce the risk of induced astigmatism. An ONATEC® Hattenbach 2mm micro needle and GEUDER® Hattenbach hybrid instruments allow for flexible and safe maneuvers within the AC. The GEUDER® tying forceps, needle holder and scissors are especially designed for AC microsuture procedures: The 25G angled tips enable micro maneuvers like in vitreoretinal surgery, while the short handle grants optimal ergonomy, flexibility and control.
ONATEC‘s ONALENE® monofilament polypropylene thread is highly tear-resistant and durable for long lasting fixations.
COVID-19 Statement, March 24th, 2020
Dear esteemed clients, business partners and friends,
Today we would like to provide certainty in uncertain times. The Geuder AG Company exists almost as long as the Federal Republic of Germany. We are doing our best to get through this storm with as little damage as possible. We are committed providing clinics and surgeons with ophthalmic surgical precision products. Fortunately, we are exporting to 120 countries in the world, giving us economic independence from individual countries or regions.
We immediately relocated as many employees as possible to their home offices, adapted our cleaning and disinfection protocols, separated workers and isolated them into different shifts, restricted commuting and business travels, client visits and unnecessary contacts.
We are available to our customers and in urgent cases we also provide personal support in the operating theatre by arrangement.
Our company’s objectives are clearly focused:
- Protect the health of our employees
- Secure the uninterrupted supply of surgeons and partners
- Strengthen the economic position of our company
Our appreciation and gratitude goes to all healthcare employees and the tremendous challenge they are facing. Our thoughts are with the affected, their families and friends.
Volker Geuder (CEO)
Our business hours remain the same
For general inquiries please contact our switchboard:
+49 6221 3066 (Mon-Thu 7:30-17:00, Fri 7:30-16:00 CET)
For consulting or purchase outside Germany please contact your local distributor:
or your Geuder sales representative
For service requests related to our devices please contact:
+49 6221 306 999 (Mon-Fri 7:30-18:00 CET)
For service requests related to our instruments please contact:
+49 6221 306-798 (Mon-Thu 7:30-17:00, Fri 7:30-16:00 CET)