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Funeral Home Director FAQ

What should I do if a family asks about donation?

Please obtain next-of-kin name and phone number.  Then, contact the Alabama Eye Bank at 800-423-7811 and speak to a Donor Services Coordinator.  The eye bank will access the donor’s medical history to determine eligibility for donation prior to speaking with the family.

What should I do if procurement is to take place at the funeral home?

The AEB prefers to perform procurement at the hospital due to accessibility of medical information.  However, if recovery is to take place at your funeral home, please elevate the head and place light ice packs over closed eyes and do not start the embalming process.

How long will I have to wait for a recovery technician to arrive?

Death to preservation time is important to the health of a donated cornea.  Although we have up to 24 hours to procure, we perform recoveries as soon as possible to maintain the highest quality and to not disrupt funeral arrangements.  For the past three years, we have performed recoveries on average less than six hours after death.  The AEB also understands the time constraints that a funeral home must operate within.  We make every effort to be respectful of your circumstances while ensuring that the family gets the highest level of service possible.

Will eye donation affect an open casket service?

In most cases, there are no visible signs that donation has occurred.  Occasionally, a pre-existing condition or care during transport may cause minimal swelling or bruising around the eye area.  A cold compress of wet gauze should reduce any swelling of the tissues.  The eye bank works with funeral homes to do everything possible to ensure a normal appearance.

How should the eye cavity of a donor be treated?

Treat the eyes as you would if you were embalming. Please call us with any additional questions.

Are there any religious restrictions to donation?

Most religions support donation as an act of neighborly love and charity.  Families are encouraged to discuss donation with their local clergy.

 

Resources

National Funeral Directors Association

National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association

National Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards

Alabama Board of Funeral Service

Alabama Funeral Directors Association

 

 

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