Your blood donation and serum eye drops

When you give blood, we may ask if you're happy for us to use your donation to make serum eye drops.

Serum eye drops are a special type of eye drops made from the clear part of blood (called the serum).

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the eyes do not make enough tears.

This can lead to the eyes drying out and becoming infected and inflamed, resulting in vision loss, severe pain and sensitivity to light.

Most people affected by dry eye syndrome can manage their condition using eye drops from a chemist.

Serum eye drops may be prescribed to a small number who do not respond to standard eye drops.

How your blood donation can help

Some people with dry eye syndrome can give their own blood for the preparation of serum eye drops, yet many are not healthy enough to donate blood.

At your donor session today, we may ask selected donors to use their blood donation for this purpose. Not all donors will be asked about this.

If you are selected, you can choose to agree or decline to give blood for this purpose.

Whatever you decide, we'll still take your blood donation to help save and improve lives.

How it works

There is no difference in how you normally donate, the time spent donating or the volume of blood taken.

You may notice that we collect your blood donation into a different type of bag than usual.

This ‘dry bag’ does not contain fluid to stop collected blood from clotting.

After we collect your blood, your donation is taken to one of our specialist blood centres and allowed to clot.

The serum is then separated from the clot, transferred to dropper vials and frozen. Prescribed serum eye drops are then sent to the patient.

Your donation will provide enough serum to last the patient for up to four months.

Your future donations

You will be able to donate blood for any purpose in the future. How you book appointments, or the number of times you can donate, will not change.

Who your donation could help

Your donation could make a huge difference to the quality of life of someone like Neil:

I feel like I can get my eyesight fully back in my right eye and the future is looking promising. I'm so grateful for this miracle cure.

Using serum eye drops for 18 months