AJO History of Ophthalmology Series

Although by the early 1940s there were several American ophthalmologists performing occasional corneal transplants, there was a constant struggle to find a donor tissue. R. Townley Paton (1901-1984) emerged as a leader in developing an infrastructure for the acquisition of suitable tissue for transplantation. At that time, there was no culture of donation, and Paton’s public attempts to stimulate donation among the American public were met with criticism and controversy. Paton, between 1940 and 1944, even made many trips to Sing Sing prison (30 miles north of New York City) to secure permission from prisoners who were about to be executed for the donation of their eyes as a final service to the public. Surprisingly, he was actually successful in this and brought the globes back to New York City for corneal transplantation. Recognizing the need for a more suitable system for obtaining quality donor tissue on a regular basis, Paton, by 1961, was instrumental in eventually establishing the Eye Bank Association of America, the world’s premier institution for organized corneal donation.

Submitted by Mark J Mannis from the Cogan Ophthalmic History Society .

Only gold members can continue reading. Log In or Register to continue

Stay updated, free articles. Join our Telegram channel

Jan 9, 2017 | Posted by in OPHTHALMOLOGY | Comments Off on AJO History of Ophthalmology Series

Full access? Get Clinical Tree

Get Clinical Tree app for offline access