FAQs for Coroners & Medical Examiners

Learn more about how Saving Sight works closely with Medical Examiners and Coroners to meet forensic requirements and fulfill the opportunity for eye donation.


1.) The cornea is the clear, outer window of the eye that covers the iris and pupil, allowing light into the eye. It is the part of the eye most commonly transplanted.

2.) Since eye tissue must be recovered within 24 hours of a patient’s death, Saving Sight has technicians on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

3.) Death to preservation time matters for a successful recovery and transplant. Releasing for donation after the autopsy is preformed adds to the death to preservation time. It could mean that a potential donor can no longer donate because too much time as elapsed postmortem.

4.) To allow for the best outcome in a successful cornea transplant, pre-autopsy release for recovery while the body is still at the hospital is ideal.

5.) Even if a coroner case has already been restricted for organ/tissue recovery, eye donation could still be possible.

6.) Saving Sight can assist the coroners and medical examiners by drawing vitreous, per request.

7.) Saving Sight can also assist the coroners and medical examiners by taking photographs. This is available upon request.

8.) A blood sample is also taken from the donor during the tissue retrieval. The sample is then sent out for testing to detect the presence of infectious diseases like HIV or Hepatitis B or C. All blood samples are tested prior to distribution to eliminate the threat of infectious disease.

9.) Eye bank recovery technicians do not destroy evidence. According to the National Association of Medical Examiners, a cornea is rarely helpful in determining cause of death. When in doubt, consult with the pathologist to determine if a cornea could help determine cause of death.

10.) When in doubt, contact our team on our 24/7 referral line at 1-800-331-2636.


Meet Our Hospital Development Team

Saving Sight’s hospital development staff work in each of our regions to communicate with local hospitals, medical centers, coroners, medical examiners, funeral directors, and hospices about donation. Set up a professional development session or request badge cards to help your staff facilitate donation by contacting your Saving Sight hospital development contact.

Wichita & Western KS

Kelly Falwell
Wichita, KS

Kansas City & Western MO

Darcey Ross
Kansas City, MO

Southwest Missouri

Annie Kuhl
Springfield, MO

Eastern MO & Central IL

Courtney Welch
St. Louis, MO