Donation of discarded ocular tissue in patients undergoing SMILE laser refractive surgery: developing appropriate guidelines
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V. Tissue Biobanks represent an invaluable resource. Despite the majority of people supporting tissue donation, the actual rate remains low overall. Tissue discarded from surgical procedures represents a further avenue for collection for use in research. We aim to understand the information and consent requirements in a cohort of healthy, post-ophthalmic surgical subjects to optimise future tissue collection in living donors. Patients attending an ophthalmic clinic following refractive surgery for myopia (SMILE) were identified. Patient consent was implied with the completion of the provided survey. The questionnaire included gender, age range and education status. The majority of 31 subjects identified a benefit for future patients as the main motive for potential donation of discarded tissue (71%). Payment for the discarded tissue would not influence their decision in 77.4%. Explanation of the potential benefits of research was the most important information to consider before making a decision to donate. Only 12.9% of patients would have refused to include further information. Almost half of patients felt that the Biobank became the owner of tissue following donation. Current surgical patients may be more inclined to participate in research than the general public because of a sense of duty or an increased understanding of the role of research in evolving treatment. Despite minor uncertainty about the eventual use of the tissue and data, most subjects were positive to donation of discarded ocular tissue and de-identified information. Consent and education processes should be revised within an ophthalmic practice to minimise future patient anxiety.